ROBIN Rono led National University (NU) to its fourth straight win by thumping University of Santo Tomas (UST), 75-61, on Saturday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball Season 76 at the Araneta Coliseum.
With main players Bobby Ray Parks and Cameroonian center Emmanuel Mbe hampered by UST’s defense, playmaker Rono posted a career-high 19 points, including two vital shots in the fourth quarter, to improve the Bulldogs’ win-loss record to 7-3.
“The players played well and sustained their fine start until the last buzzer. We just need to play strong defense all the time,” said NU mentor Eric Altamirano. “I’m also happy that other players like Romeo had contributed tonight.”
Shooting guard Denise Villamor, who fired 18 points and notched nine rebounds, handed the Bulldogs a 54-42, edge with only 1:20 left in the third quarter while Mbe pumped up their largest cushion at 56-42 down to 40 ticks before the last period starts.
From thereon, the Bulldogs were never threatened.
Parks added 10 points along with eight rebounds and five assists, while Gelo Alolino added 10 for the Bulldogs, who dealt the Growling Tigers their third consecutive loss and a 4-5 win-loss card.
Meanwhile, De La Salle University gave University of the Philippines (UP) debuting interim head coach Rey Madrid a rude welcome after hacking out a come-from-behind 85-63 victory.
The Fighting Maroons held a slim 42-35 lead at halftime, but the Green Archers came back strong in the second half to outscore UP, 50-21, on the way to their six victories against four losses.
UP is still winless after nine games.
Freshman forward Jason Perkins shot 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, while guard Almond Vosotros racked up 16 points and center Nelbert Torres had 16 points and hauled down 14 rebounds for the Green Archers, who also drew 12 points from Jeron Teng.
“The team is becoming stronger as a unit,” said La Salle head coach Juno Sauler. “We shot better in the second half and UP missed the shots that they were making. I told them to play harder and do a good job defensively.”
Henry Asilum led the Fighting Maroons with 18 points.