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NU survives UST in bruising matchup

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 11th 2013

National University proved to be tougher down the stretch as they earned a hard-fought victory over the University of Santo Tomas.

Missed free-throws, missed chances.

National University gave away 24 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter but University of Santo Tomas failed to capitalize in a 71-67 victory by the Bulldogs in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

NU controlled much of the second half, but could not pull away after handing foul after foul in the final period and giving the Growling Tigers some hope of coming back and stealing the win.

But UST made only 15 of their 24 freebies and could not convert on their offensive sets to allow the Bulldogs to eke out the triumph -- their second in three games.

"We knew we're gonna have a hard time against UST," admitted coach Eric Altamirano. "I kept telling the boys to keep their composure until the end. That's one of the things that we still really need to work on."

Bobby Ray Parks tallied 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals while Jean Mbe and Troy Rosario teamed up for 29 points, 19 boards and three blocks as NU bounced back from a loss.

"Against UE, we allowed (Charles) Mammie to dominate the paint," Altamirano added. "But today, we battled on the rebounds, we grabbed offensive boards and had our second chances."

True enough, after getting outrebounded, 49-42, by the Red Warriors last Saturday, the Bulldogs outworked the Tigers, 46-45, in this game.

Kevin Ferrer scored 20 points and grabbed seven boards but UST could not buck the loss of Jeric Teng, who injured his right shoulder in the first half and did not return.

The scores:

NU (71) - Parks 20, Mbe 17, Rosario 12, Alolino 8, Villamor 5, Javillonar 3, Rono 2, Porter 2, Khobuntin 2, De Guzman 0, Alejandro 0

UST (67) - Ferrer 20, Daquioag 13, Bautista 9, Teng 7, Mariano 7, Abdul 6, Lo 3, Pe 2, So 0, Hainga 0