MANILA, Philippines – The National University (NU) Bulldogs posted their second straight victory with a comfortable 77-62 win over the short-handed Adamson University Soaring Falcons in the men’s basketball tournament of the UAAP Season 75 Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bulldogs got off to a quick start, led by 10 points by halftime, and cruised to victory in the second half as the Falcons struggled in the absence of star player Alex Nuyles.
“We started strong and we were able to sustain it,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano.
Nuyles suffered an injury late in the first period, wherein he banged his shoulder against NU’s Bobby Ray Parks. The swingman went down while holding his wrist and had to go to the locker room.
He did not return to the game and was later shown with his shoulder in a sling.
“Nuyles’ injury helped us,” admitted Altamirano.
Without Nuyles, the Falcons struggled to organize their offense and often resulted to bombing away from long-range.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs got a dominant performance from Emmanuel Mbe, who posted 20 points and 15 rebounds to go along with a couple of highlight-reel slam dunks.
It was Mbe who sparked the Bulldogs’ rout, as he forced Adamson’s Rodney Brondial into two early fouls and then took advantage of the Falcons’ lack of inside presence to score eight points in the opening quarter alone.
The Bulldogs were ahead by 10, 39-29, going into halftime, but turned the game into a rout in the third period.
In the third quarter, they outscored the Falcons 27-13, getting contributions from a variety of players.
After a lay-up from Eric Camson cut the lead to single digits, 31-39, the Bulldogs scored 12 straight points to go up by 20, 51-31. The Falcons would never recover from that onslaught, as they would be unable to cut the lead to less than 15 points the rest of the way.
Parks finished the game with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. He also had five assists.
Camson and Roider Cabrera tried to rally the Falcons in the second half, but they got little help from the Adamson role players.
Camson finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Cabrera added 11 points and six boards.
The Bulldogs improved to 4-2, while the Falcons drop to 1-3.