NATIONAL University survived a gutsy charge by Adamson to win in overtime, 81-77, and open its second-round campaign in the UAAP seniors basketball tournament on a rousing note on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bulldogs decided the outcome of the game in the extra period after the Falcons strongly came back late in regulation with a closing 9-0 run to force overtime play.
The victory somehow atoned for the Bulldogs' heartbreaking 87-86 overtime loss to La Salle Archers last Saturday.
“This is part of our growing pains,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “It’s not the right thing to say but, for us to grow, we need this kind of games.”
Regulation ended at 71-71 as the Falcons suddenly exploded in the stretch and nailed three successive treys.
Parks went on to finish with 31 points, the first player since James Yap in 2002 to score 30 or more points in back-to-back games after torching La Salle for 35 points. Mbe had 14 points and a season-high 20 points for the Bulldogs.
NU looked headed for an easy win after posting a 71-62 lead. But Ryan Monteclaro converted a contested three-pointer, before Roider Cabrera hit back-to-back treys off two NU turnovers with 10 seconds to play.
Adamson even had a chance to win the game in regulation when Parks committed an error with 2.1 seconds left, but Eric Camson missed a medium-range jumper at the buzzer.
Adamson remained at the cellar with a 1-7 win-loss card as they suffered their fifth straight setback.
NU (81) – Parks 31, Mbe 14, Rono 9, De Guzman 9, Rosario 6, Villamor 5, Alolino 4, Javillonar 3, Singh 0, Neypes 0, Labing-isa 0, Betayene 0.
ADAMSON (77) – Camson 23, Cabrera 22, Cruz 12, Rios 9, Etrone 4, Monteclaro 3, Abrigo 3, Cabigas 1, Trollano 0, Petilos 0, Olalia 0, Julkipli 0, Brondial 0, Agustin 0.
Quarterscores: 18-14, 27-23, 46-41, 71-71, 81-77.