STREAKING National University (NU) finally grabbed a share of the lead in the team standings after repulsing University of the East (UE), 81-73, on Sunday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball Season 76 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Cameroonian center Emmanuel Mbe notched eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter in addition to his 11 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to victory. Bobby Ray Parks contributed 18 points plus 10 rebounds and playmaker Robin Rono 12 points.
“I think we were able to adjust since we lost Alfred Aroga because of eligibility problem,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano. “We knew Mammie [Charles] and Casajeros [Lord] will not play for UE, but we did not relax and just played as a team.”
NU’s bench also outscored UE’s bench, 32-17, to post an 8-3 win-loss slate joining Far Eastern University with same win-loss card on the top spot.
The Red Warriors, who played without 6’8 Charles Mammie and forward Lord Casajeros after the two were slapped with suspension, now have a 5-5 win-loss record.
The Bulldogs controlled the first half via 46 percent shooting in the field for a 41-31 halftime edge courtesy of the scoring prowess of Parks and Mbe.
Earlier, Adamson University snapped a sixth game losing streak by keeping University of the Philippines (UP) winless in 10 games via 67-53 victory. Nigerian Ingrid Sewa pulled off a monster game with a career-high 18 points and 15 rebounds along with three blocks.
The Falcons, with 17 points from Roider Cabrera and 16 points from playmaker Jensen Rios, controlled the game from the beginning until the last minute to improve its win-loss record to 4-8.
Sewa nailed a three-point play in the last three minutes to give Adamson a 66-51 lead and never looked back to seal the win.
Adamson head coach Leo Austria, meanwhile, announced to the media after the game that he is stepping down as Falcons coach next season.
“I think this will be my last season with the UAAP. I want them (Adamson) to have a change,” said Austria, whose contract expires on October 31.