ROBIN Roño saved the day for National University after hitting the game-winning three-pointer against College of St. Benilde, 70-67, to keep the Bulldogs' unbeaten record in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan Wednesday.
The lone trey from the left corner by the sophomore player at the buzzer sealed the second straight win of the Bulldogs, who lost grip of a 12-point fourth quarter lead following a furious Blazers fightback.
“Alam ko na i-do-double team nila si Bobby Ray (Parks) kaya ready lang ako lagi,” said Roño of his all-important basket.
The Bulldogs appeared ready to coast to the win after posting a 67-55 lead behind a 12-5 run sparked by a JayJay Alejandro triple at the 2:17 mark.
But the Blazers retaliated with their own 12-point explosion to get back in the game.
Mark Romero came up with eight points, including two three-pointers, while Dexter Garcia scored on back-to-back lay-ups to tie the game at 67-all with 5.3 seconds to go.
But the Blazers slipped up on defense, giving Rono the open look for the winning shot that spoiled the Blazers’ tournament debut.
“Luckily Robin was there when Bobby Ray was double-teamed,” said NU assistant coach Joey Guanio.
“We thought we were in control, but in the end it showed our maturity,” he added. “It goes to show that he (Bobby Ray) is willing to give the ball up during big shots.”
Parks, the back-to-back UAAP MVP, came away with 15 points to go with nine rebounds and seven of the Bulldogs’ 17 total assists.
“I grew up a lot,” said Parks. “I trust my teammates to make the last shot especially Robin. He'd always tell me, 'Bob, ready lang ako.'”
Jeth Rosario contributed 14, while Alfred Aroga and Denice Villamor added 10 apiece for NU, which now holds solo lead in Group A with 2-0 (win-loss) record.
Romero finished with a game-high 22 points, while Luis Sinco added 12 for the Blazers, who played under new coach Gabby Velasco.
The scores :
National U (70) - Parks 15, Rosario 14, Aroga 10, Villamor 10, Javelona 5, Roño 5, Alejandro 5, Javillonar 4, De Guzman 2, Neypes 0.
St. Benilde (67) - Romero 22, Sinco 12, Saavedra 9, Grey 7, Garcia 6, Ongtengco 4, Taha 4, Argamino 3, Bartolo 0, Deles 0, Nayve 0, Castor 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17;38-29; 52-44; 70-67.