BOBBY Ray Parks scored a season-high 30 points as league-leading National University secured at least a playoff for a Final Four berth with a 79-62 victory over hapless University of the Philippines on Wednesday in the UAAP at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Bulldogs won their sixth straight game to solidify their hold of first place with a 9-3 win-loss record in the men's basketball tournament. FEU is running second with an 8-4 mark.
“We talked about this game for the last three games and we said we don’t want to take UP lightly,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
Parks, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, matched the season-best mark of 30 set by Terrence Romeo on August 25 in Far Eastern University’s double overtime victory against University of the East.
More important, the Bulldogs move a step closer to claiming one of the two twice-to-beat incentives in the Final Four.
“There is a significance in this game because we are getting to the Final Four. That is a one step forward for us,” Altamirano added.
The Bulldogs took the lead for good when they outscored the Maroons, 21-12, in the third period en route to a 64-48 advantage entering the fourth.
Emmanuel Mbe added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
UP is still winless through 11 games.
NU (79) – Parks 30, Mbe 14, Javillonar 6, Alolino 6, Alejandro 6, Khobuntin 5, Villamor 4, De Guzman 4, Rosario 2, Javelona 2, Rono 0, Porter 0, Neypes 0.
UP (62) – Soyud 17, Marata 13, Desiderio 8, Lao 6, Gallarza 4, Ball 4, Wong 3, Pascual 3, Paras 2, Harris 2, Asilum 0, Amar 0.
Quarterscores: 24-19; 43-36; 64-48; 79-62.