by Anton Onato
Photos by Luis Adrian Hidalgo
The University of the Philippines remained in the cellar after losing to National University, 79-62, in the second round of the UAAP 76 Men’s Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks led the charge for the Bulldogs, scoring a season-high 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. With the win, NU tightened their grip on top with a 9-3 slate while UP has yet to win in all 11 outings.
“We have to be consistent. It’s not a guarantee that we’re number one and we have to relax. Every win is very important because of the tight standing,” NU head coach Eric Altamirano said.
UP was actually within two, 28-26, courtesy of Chris Ball early in the second quarter. But the Bulldogs leaned on timely triples from forward JJ Alejandro, to secure a 43-36 haltime lead.
The Maroons again rallied back trimming the lead down to three, 45-42, with 7:35 left in the third.
Then the Bulldogs went berserk and scored 12 unanswered points behind Parks’ excellent shooting, 57-42, and never looked back from then on.
Raul Soyud scored 17 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks while Joseph Marata added 13 points and five rebounds for UP.
UP will face the University of Santo Tomas on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
NU 79 – Parks 30, Mbe 14, Javillonar 6, Alolino 6, Alejandro 6, Khobuntin 5, Villamor 4, De Guzman 4, Rosario 2, Javelona 2, Rono 0, Porter 0, Neypes 0
UP 62 – Soyud 17, Marata 13, Desiderio 8, Lao 6, Gallarza 4, Ball 4, Wong 3, Pascual 3, Paras 2, Harris 2, Asilum 0, Amar 0
Quarter scores: 24-19, 43-36, 64-48, 79-62