MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) -- One game after being routed by the defending champions, the National University (NU) Bulldogs vented their frustrations on the overmatched University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bulldogs bounced back from their loss to the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles by routing the Fighting Maroons, 67-50, to get back on the winning track in the UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball tournament.
|National University's Emmanuel Mbe shoots against the defense of Chris Ball of the University of the Philippines.
Big man Emmanuel Mbe had 16 points and 16 rebounds, while last season’s MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. added 18 points, four rebounds and six assists.
“We worked on a lot of things after the Ateneo game,” said Parks, who set the tone of the game with a spectacular putback dunk early in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs led wire-to-wire and were especially dominant in the second quarter of the contest, wherein they outscored the Maroons 26-8.
Parks started the onslaught by scoring five straight points off a three-pointer then an alley-oop lay-up, but it was the NU bench that stepped up to take control of the game.
The Bulldogs reeled off 17 straight points in the middle of the second quarter, while holding the Maroons scoreless for more than six minutes. NU feasted on the Maroons’ turnovers, with Robin Roño and Mbe both scoring easy transition buckets off various UP miscues.
By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Bulldogs had built a 42-18 lead that the Maroons would not be able to overcome.
“We focused on our defense, and I’m glad the boys played good defense today,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano.
The Maroons shot a paltry 22% from the field in the first half, while allowing the Bulldogs to make over 40% of their field goals.
UP actually outscored NU in the second half, 32-25, but it was a case of too little, too late for the Maroons.
The Maroons used a zone defense in the third quarter that prevented the Bulldogs from scoring a single field goal in the first seven minutes of the period, but Jeffrey Javillonar and Parks kept NU ahead with back-to-back three-pointers late in the third.
UP managed to make the score respectable in the fourth period, wherein they trimmed the Bulldogs’ lead to 16 points, 45-61.
Mike Silungan and Jet Manuel each scored 11 points for UP, while Jelo Montecastro added 10 markers.
NU 67 - Parks 18, Mbe 17, Javillonar 9, Rono 7, Alolino 6, Villamor 4, Ignacio 4, De Guzman 2, Singh 0, Rosario 0, Neypes 0, Labing-isa 0, Betayene 0
UP 50 - Silungan 11, Manuel 11, Montecastro 10, Ball 4, Lopez 4, Hipolito 4, Asilum 4, Soyud 2, Mbah 0, Romero 0, Padilla 0, Gamboa 0
Quarter scoring: 16-10, 26-18, 52-28, 67-50