BOBBY Ray Parks Jr. made up for his absence in the semifinals as he led National University to a 63-47 rout of University of Perpetual Help to win the title in the 19th Fr. Martin Summer Cup Sunday at the Trinity University of Asia gymnasium in Quezon City.
Parks, back in the starting roster after resting briefly from a minor ankle injury, chipped in 19 points for the Bulldogs, who went on to claim their second pre-season crown in three years.
The Bulldogs’ second title conquest came as the San Beda Red Cubs subdued the Letran Squires, 72-63, to retain the juniors crown, while Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws outplayed La Salle, 48-46, to clinch the women’s plum.
Joshua Caracut, a 6-foot junior, tallied 17 points, including two crucial triples in the fourth period as he powered the Red Cubs to a 10-point edge in the last five minutes and give new coach JB Sison a fitting championship debut.
On the other hand, Vangie Soriano sank two free throws in the final three seconds to lift the Lady Tams to the dramatic two-point victory over the Lady Archers.
The 6-foot-4 Parks, back-to-back UAAP MVP, rose to the occasion in the final minute of the second period, canning in two charities and hitting a triple with 3.5 seconds remaining to hand the Bulldogs a 30-23 halftime edge.
Teammates Alfred Aroga and Joshua Alolino had 15 and 11 points respectively, for the Bulldogs as the two struck hard during an 8-0 blast to start the second half, allowing NU to stretch its lead to 38-23 with 7:03 to go.
Alolino hit eight points throughout the third, giving the Bulldogs a 55-34 spread at the end of the period.
“The boys did what they were supposed to do. They are learning to deal with lapses in our game and keep their composure,” said Bulldogs coach Eric Altamirano.
Justin Alano banged in nine points for the Altas, while Juneric Baloria and Harold Arboleda had eight and seven, respectively.
The Bulldogs reached the semis after they stopped the University of the Philippines Maroons, 67-63, last Thursday, while the Altas held off the Adamson Falcons to prevail, 57-54, in the other semis pairing.
The Altas still ended up having their best pre-season stint with their first ever finals appearance in the tournament in seven years.
The Bulldogs’ ninth straight win gave them their second tournament championship after beating the Mapua Cardinals for the title in 2011.