BOBBY Ray Parks calmly sank two free throws following a Terrence Romeo turnover to lift National University to a 59-58 victory over Far Eastern University, handing the Tamaraws their first loss of the season in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Romeo lost possession after dribbling the time away for its final offensive. Parks got the ball and was fouled as he sprinted to the NU goal, paving the way for the charity shots.
FEU could not convert in the last 9.5 seconds of play.
NU improved to 5-3, putting a stop to the FEU run after a sweep of the first round.
Parks atoned for his so-so game to start off the second round as he finished with only seven points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.
NU coach Eric Altamirano credited defense for the win after limiting leading MVP candidate Romeo to a season-low eight points on a poor 3-of-16 from the field.
“I think, obviously, I told the team that for us to beat FEU, we have to assert ourselves on defense,” said Altamirano. “We grinded it out, we struggled but I like what happened in the end.”
NU led 31-25 and 50-43 in the second and third quarters but FEU was able to begin the fourth with a 15-4 run for a 58-54 lead on a Mark Belo triple in the 3:40 mark before sputtering in the end.
“We were down by four but we didn’t lose heart. We regrouped and true enough, we were able to come out with the win,” Altamirano said.
Joshua Alolino had 13 points while Emmanuel Mbe had 10 points and 11 rebounds, including two free throws that trimmed the deficit to 56-58 with 2:10 in the fourth.
Parks actually split his two charities in the 32.3-second mark before hitting two free throws on the Romeo turnover.
The loss spoiled RR Garcia’s season-high 20 points, the lone double-digit score for the Tamaraws.
NU (59) – Alolino 13, Mbe 10, Khobuntin 10, Parks 7, Villamor 4, Rono 4, Porter 4, Perez 4, Javillonar 2, Alejandro 1, Javelona 0, De Guzman 0.
FEU (58) – Garcia 20, Tolomia 8, Romeo 8, Cruz 6, Belo 5, Mendoza 4, Hargrove 3, Inigo 2, Pogoy 2, Sentcheu 0, Jose 0, Dennison 0, Aguilon 0.
Quarterscores: 17-17’ 31-25; 50-43; 59-58.