by Marisse Gabrielle Panaligan
Its game plan was to put out a fire, but the Maroons could not get it done.
After a tough debut, rookie sensation Bobby Ray Parks came out on fire to lead the National University Bulldogs to a 75-66 triumph over the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons at the 74th University Athletic Association of the Philippines basketball competition Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Playing their second game of the season, the Maroons defense failed to stop Parks, who had a 62 percent shooting from the field for his 30 points, 19 coming from the second half. He also skied for nine rebounds.
“He (Parks) provided not only the scoring for us, but also the stability,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said.
NU big man Emmanuel Mbe wound up with 10 points and three rebounds despite foul trouble, while forward Jeoffrey Javillonar registered nine points and seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to its first win of the season.
Meanwhile, guard Jett Manuel fired 21 points for the Maroons, while Jelo Montecastro finished with 12 markers, three assists and three steals. Nigerian Alinko Mbah also grabbed 13 rebounds.
Mike Gamboa and Mike Silungan, the heroes of the Maroons’ victory on Thursday, combined for only 14 points.
“We were all down… that’s just natural. But then coach talked to us,” Manuel said. “He said we should learn from this, work harder next time, and keep our heads up.”
The Bulldogs had a head start with 10 unanswered points, sealing the first canto with a nine-point lead, 24-15. But the Maroons came back in the second quarter, scoring 28 points upon the entry of Manuel and Montecastro.
Silungan released a three-point buzzer beater that gave the Maroons the lead after the first half, 43-40.
But Parks and Javillonar dominated the second half, with a combined output of 18 markers from the charity stripe alone. The Bulldogs also limited the Maroons to a second half total of 23 points.
Lady Maroons succumb to Lady Tamaraws
Meanwhile, the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws trampled over the Lady Maroons, 58-34, in the women’s basketball tournament Sunday at the Ateneo Blue Eagle gym.
Ma. Antonia Wong and Kryzza Casiño of the Lady Maroons both dished out seven points, but their efforts were still not enough to give the women’s team their second victory for the season.
Lady Tamaraw Raiza Palmera spearheaded the FEU shooters with her 19 points and seven rebounds, followed by Allana Lim who chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds to give the Morayta-based dribblers its first victory.
FEU dropped their bombs early on in the game, getting ahead of the Lady Maroons, 26-14, in the first half.
The Lady Maroons never recovered from the upsetting first quarter, as FEU maintained their lead throughout the game.
Lady Maroons coach Ramon Garcia, blamed the loss on the team’s lack of rebounding.
“We have to improve our box out (positions for rebounds),” Garcia said. “We still need some polishing.”
Junior Maroons also lose
In the juniors game, the UP Junior Maroons lost for the second time this season, yielding an 85-49 drubbing to the NU Bullpups Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Freddy Pajarillaga led the Junior Maroons with 16 points, but it was not enough to make up for his team’s poor performance from both ends of the court.
The Junior Maroons shot a measly 28 percent from the field, got outrebounded by 10 boards, and allowed the Bullpups to dish 25 assists, 16 more than UP’s nine. With reports from Ardelle Costuna