National University (NU) tamed last year’s runner-up University of Santo Tomas (UST), 71-67, to create a four-way tie for second place in UAAP men’s basketball on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
NU, UST, De La Salle University and Adamson University now share the No. 2 position with 2 wins and 1 loss each. They are behind Far Eastern University which has a 3-0 slate.
Back-to-back Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks had a sterling performance, nailing 20 points on top of six boards , six assists, two blocks and two steals while Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds.
“I kept telling the boys to keep our composure, protect our lead and it showed again today in the end game,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Kevin Ferrer paced the Growling Tigers with 20 points.
In the first game, Adamson University survived a late surge by University of the East (UE) to post a 78-71 win.
Roider Cabrera scored 19 points – all in the first half – and three rebounds while Cameroonian Ingrid Sewa chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds and Jericho Cruz had 10 for the Soaring Falcons.
“I told them to just stick to the system. Every possession is important. We got this win because of our defense. We want to deny every attempt and that’s one way to beat a certain team,” said Adamson mentor Leo Austria.
Roi Sumang led UE with 26 points as the Red Warriors dropped to 1-2.
In the juniors, La Salle-Zobel smashed UE, 79-45, to take the solo lead with a 3-0 record.
UST and NU also beat their foes to share second spot with 2-0.
The UST Tiger Cubs clipped the Adamson Baby Falcons, 84-69, with Paulo Corre leading the scoring with 16 points. Aaron Reyes had 14 and Isaiah Dandan na delivered 12 for UST.
Allan Casino and Lester Munsayac combined for 32 points for Adamson.
The NU Bullpups also kept their unbeaten string by crushing University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS), 93-65.
Top Bullpup John Cauilan fired 25 points and hauled down six while Hubert Cani scored 12 and Jonas Go added 11.
UPIS got 14 each from Raymart Sablan, Jozhua General and Diego Dario.
Adamson and UPIS fell to 0-2.
Defending champion Far Eastern University-Dilliman nipped Ateneo in overtime, 74-70, to finally barge into the win column.
EMIL C. NOGUERA