NATIONAL UNIVERSITY claimed a second straight win after beating University of the Philippines, 74-60, on Sunday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Point guard Gelo Alolino led a fourth-quarter breakaway by the Bulldogs to book their third win in four outings and tie University of Santo Tomas for second place in the standings.
With reigning two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks resting early in the fourth quarter, Alolino conspired with Troy Rosario in an 8-0 run to start the payoff period that thwarted any plans of a Maroon upset.
Alolino went on to finish with 12 points, six rebounds, and seven assists for the Bulldogs.
“I thought we did a good job on defense in the fourth and at the same time, nag-click ang offense namin and we were able to pull away in the fourth,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Parks finished with 18 points but went an atrocious 2-of-12 from the field.
But other NU players stepped up with Emmanuel Mbe contributing 15 points and 12 rebounds and Rosario adding 10 markers.
“We want to emphasize that (teammates stepping up on offense) and make sure not to rely too much on Bobby Ray Parks on offense,” Altamirano said.
The Maroons fell to 0-4 but was in contention in the first three quarters of the game. They were trailing by only six points, 53-47, and very much in the ballgame entering the fourth.
“They were fighting until the end. That will be the story of UP’s season. They are very unpredictable. You can’t relax against them. You have to play your best until the end,” said Altamirano.
Rosario scored six straight points, one basket coming off an Alolino assist, before Alolino scored on a lay-up to make it 61-47.
Sam Marata had 14 points, rookie Kyles Lao had 11, and Raul Soyud added 10 and 20 rebounds for the Maroons.
NU (74) – Parks 18, Mbe 15, Alolino 12, Rosario 10, Javillonar 9, Rono 3, Alejandro 3, Villamor 2, Khobuntin 2, Porter 0, De Guzman 0.
UP (60) – Marata 14, Lao 11, Soyud 10, Ball 8, Gallarza 5, Pascual 3, Gingerich 3, Asilum 3, Wong 2, Ligad 1, Suarez 0, Paras 0, Desiderio 0, Amar 0.
Quarterscores: 21-13; 39-29; 53-47; 74-60.