NU blasts La Salle to bag Filoil crown-A A +A
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
BOBBY Ray Parks and Emmanuel Mbe produced 32 points to put National University on top of the Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Hanes Cup, beating La Salle in the finals, 64-54, at The Arena in San Juan City on Tuesday.
Recovering from a wobbly first half, the Bulldogs poured their efforts down the stretch to frustrate a possible comeback by the Archers.
The Taft-based cagers came within five under two minutes remaining but Parks, who was later adjudged as the tournament’s best, buried a triple to strengthen their hold on the prize, 60-52, with 1:08 left.
Prior to this feat, the Bulldogs are touted as one of the whipping boys of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), normally ending at the bottom rung of the eight-team field in the past decade.
Then mall magnate Henry Sy came into the picture, who bought the school’s majority stake five years ago as he invested heavily on its sports program especially basketball.
This include summer trainings in the United States and lately China.
“Long way to go for us but just for a day we want to celebrate,” sophomore mentor Eric Altamirano told reporters.
Virtually unfelt in La Salle’s drive for an upset was prized rookie Jeron Teng after only tallying four points. Leading the losing effort, meanwhile, were LA Revilla and bigman Norbert Torres, who chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Ateneo de Manila led as many as 14 points against San Beda College in the final canto to salvage third place, 66-55.
Sidelined by an ankle injury recently, Cebuano skyscraper Greg Slaughter carried the Blue Eagles in his shoulders by ending the tournament with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Justin Chua finished with eight markers while Juami Tiongson and Kiefer Ravena combined for 14.
The Eagles, who are gunning for a fifth consecutive crown in the UAAP to be hosted by NU next month, delivered early on the game as they disallowed the Lions from snatching the momentum.
It was a downhill trip for the Lions, who came strong in the eliminations only to find themselves melting down in the playoffs. They blew a chance to make a return trip to the championship round last week after bowing to a younger La Salle side, 50-46.
Ateneo lost to NU, 85-68, in the semifinals. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)