NATIONAL University (NU) gave debuting Ateneo De Manila University head coach Bo Perasol a rude welcome by posting a convincing 64-54 win Sunday in UAAP men’s basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bulldogs started hot in the first two periods, racing to a double-digit lead before halftime. It blunted Ateneo’s third-quarter run to snap a 10-game losing streak in the hands of the Blue Eagles that began in 2007.
Small forward Bobby Ray Parks Jr., who dedicated the game to his late father and Philippine Basketball Association seven-time Best Import Bobby Parks Sr., scored 22 points along with nine rebounds and four assists.
Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe scored on a breakaway dunk for a 29-19 lead with a minute left in second period. Dennice Lee Villamor drained a long two at the buzzer off a Robin Rono pass to provide the Bulldogs their largest lead at 33-21 at the break.
Parks, who already tallied 15 points, six rebounds and two assists in the first half, delivered a pass to Villamor for an open three-pointer that stretched the Bulldogs’ advantage to 59-35 with 5:33 left in fourth quarter.
The Blue Eagles narrowed the gap to 44-59 after hitting three triples with under four minutes left, but the Bulldogs held their ground until the final buzzer.
Parks nailed a three-pointer with only 1:41 remaining to extend NU’s lead to 64-51 and from there the Bulldogs were never threatened the rest of the way.
Mbe finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Alfred Aroga, NU’s other Cameroonian recruit, had to sit out due to the lack of original documents that will make him eligible this season.
The NU management, however, said original documents will be submitted next week.
Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena, who scored only two points, played limited minutes and sat out the entire second half with an ankle injury.
Juami Tiongson finished with 13 points for Ateneo.
JOSEF T. RAMOS