NATIONAL University demolished University of the East, 90-55, on Saturday in one of the most emphatic victories posted in an opening game of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Bobby Ray Parks had a complete game with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks for the Bulldogs, who exploded for 35 points in a breakaway second period while limiting the Warriors to only eight points during that span.
It was an utter mismatch from there as the Bulldogs reinforced their pre-tournament billing as the team most likely to spoil Ateneo's quest for a fifth successive title.
“We played very well as a team,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “Collectively, everybody stuck to the game plan, they were very disciplined in this game.”
The win, witnessed by a capacity crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena, was the biggest posted in an opening game of the country's premier league since Far Eastern University downed UE, 89-61, on July 10, 2004.
Jeoffrey Javillonar led the Bulldogs in points and rebounds with 19 and 11, including a buzzer-being three-pointer that put the Bulldogs ahead, 48-23.
Joshua Alolino, who scored the first basket of the season with a lay-up, finished with 12 points while Troy Rosario added 10 for the Bulldogs. Six-foot forward Mark De Guzman pulled down nine rebounds to go along with his eight points.
The Bulldogs’ Cameroonian reinforcement Emmanuel Mbe failed to play in the first half because of a problem with his jersey — it didn’t have a number on the front — but came up with four points in the first second half.
UE had a fighting chance in the first quarter after Roi Sumang drilled a buzzer-beating triple for a 15-13 lead. But the Bulldogs came up with a 9-0 run to gain a 22-15 cushion. UE later went silent again and the Bulldogs dropped a 15-0 bomb for a 40-19 advantage.
The Bulldogs led 88-48 late in the fourth period.
NU has practically dominated UE in their previous three contests, winning by an average margin of 37.5 points.
NU 90 — Javillonar 19, Parks 16, Alolino 12, Rosario 10, De Guzman 8, Villamor 6, Mbe 4, Labing-isa 3, Ignacio 3, Betayene 3, Perez 2, Neypes 2, Celda 2, Singh 0, Rono 0, Khobuntin 0.
UE 55 — Sumang 21, Razon 8, Galanza 8, Olayon 7, Santos 4, Belleza 2, Javier 2, Flores 2, Sumido 1, Alberto 0, Villarias 0, Valdez 0, Duran 0, Duncil 0.
Quarterscores: 13-15; 48-23; 72-40; 90-55.