Smart Araneta Coliseum, Cubao, Q.C. – Many basketball followers have dubbed the 2012 NU Bulldogs as one of the favorites to win the 2012 UAAP basketball crown. For the first four games, the Bulldogs were looking more like a middle of the pack team by winning over winless UE and UP while losing to ADMU and UST. Some fans were even thinking that the Ray Parks-led National University is overrated. After their win today against erstwhile undefeated FEU Tamaraws, 61-57 , the Bulldogs are starting to show why they were labelled as favorites. What they lack now is the consistency to win in consecutive games as they so far followed every win with a momentum killing loss.
Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. had an awful shooting day as he hit only 2 of his 9 attempts in the field but his 2 made field goals were scored in the crucial moments of the game. He finished the game with 17 points thanks to a 13 of 17 clip from the free throw line. He also have 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
The Far Eastern University Tamaraws controlled the first half by outscoring the Bulldogs, 30-24. They were leading 29-16 with over four minutes left to play in the first half but NU behind big men Emmanuel Mbe and Spencer Rosario conspired for a 7-1 run to trim the lead to a more manageable six points at the half. NU continued its surge in the 3rd period as they used a 10-2 quarter ending run capped by Dennice Villamor’s 3-point shot to trim the deficit to just one point going to the final 10 minutes of play.
In the 4th period, NU finally leveled the count at 50 after a conversion by Henri Betayene. Parks then made his first ever field goal in the game followed by a hook shot by Rosario to give the Bulldogs a 54-50 lead. FEU responded with a 5-0 run behind Season 73 MVP RR Garcia’s trey and a lay in by Mark Bringas for a 55-54 lead. Another lead change ensued as Parks made his second field goal with a bonus free throw to boot for 57-55 NU lead. The games final deadlock was at 57-all after Terence Romeo hit a jumper. In the next possession, Parks split his free throws to break the tie, 58-57. Coach Bert Flores sued for time with less than a minute to play. FEU did not convert their set play off a timeout but they were also able to make a defensive stop at the other end to get the possession back. Mark Belo was fouled by Mbe and was given a chance to give back the lead to FEU at the line. Belo was 3 for 3 at the charity stripe prior to his pressure-packed free throws. He missed both. Parks got the ball and FEU was forced to foul him with 16.8 seconds left on the game clock. Unlike Belo, Parks was cool under pressure as he was able to sink both freebies for 60-57 lead. It was still a one possession game and FEU could tie it with a 3-point basket. Romeo attempted a 3-point shot but he missed the game-tying attempt. Mark de Guzman finalized the tally by making one free throw for a 61-57 win for the Bulldogs.
Parks got great support from Rosario and Mbe, who combined for 24 points and 19 rebounds helping NU to a 46-43 rebounding edge. Romeo was the only FEU scorer in double figures finishing with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
NU raised its record to 3-2 while the loss dropped FEU to 4-1.
NU 61: Parks 17, Rosario 12, Mbe 12, Alolino 6, Villamor 4, Javillonar 4, Rono 3, Betayene 2, De Guzman 1, Singh 0
FEU 57: Romeo 18, Belo 8, M Bringas 8, Garcia 5, A Bringas 5, Mendoza 4, Cruz 4, Hargrove 3, Escoto 2, Tolomia 0, Sentchu 0, Pogoy 0
Quarter scoring: 12-15, 24-30, 46-47, 61-57
|Team Standings as of August 2, 2012|
|Far Eastern University Tamaraws||4||1|
|Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles||4||1|
|University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers||2||1|
|National University Bulldogs||3||2|
|De la Salle University Green Archers||2||2|
|Adamson University Soaring Falcons||1||2|
|University of the East Red Warriors||0||3|
|University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons||0||4|
- UAAP Season 75: Season 74 finalists gain (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- 2012 UAAP: Bert Flores-coached FEU steals a win from UST (cebuislandlive.com)
- 2012 UAAP Juniors Basketball: Pingoy leads FEU Baby Tamaraws to a win against Blue Eaglets (cebuislandlive.com)
- Unified Garcia and Romeo key to FEU’s drive in UAAP 75 (sports.inquirer.net)
- 2012 UAAP Basketball: UST exploits Slaughter’s foul trouble to win against Ateneo (cebuislandlive.com)
- Sumalinog carries Ateneo over UP
- Breakthrough win for NU (inquirer.net)