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Parks torches La Salle in 4th as NU wins

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 28th 2013

Ray Parks powered the NU Bulldogs to a crucial victory over the De La Salle Green Archers to snap a two-game losing skid at the end of the first round.

And he's back in the MVP conversation.

Ray Parks catalyzed a fourth quarter surge that pushed National University to a hard-earned 63-56 win over De La Salle University in the last game of the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With the Bulldogs cooling off after a hot start, the two-time reigning MVP sizzled for eight points in a stunning 14-2 run that turned the game around in the final canto.

Clinging to a 43-42 lead, NU banked on back-to-back triples by Parks while Gelo Alolino also helped with four points as the Bulldogs buried the Green Archers in a 57-44 hole with four minutes left.

La Salle, though, did not go down without a fight.

Arnold van Opstal and diminutive guard Thomas Torres scored second-chance points to bring them back within single digits at 57-48 before an 8-0 blast by Van Opstal and Torres brought them to 59-56 with just 16.4 seconds on the clock.

The Archers' rally ran out of time, however, as Alolino sank crucial free-throws before Jean Mbe punctuated NU's win with a buzzer-beating basket.

"I'm really proud of my boys today," said coach Eric Altamirano. "We played smart and executed our game plan."

Parks continued his struggles from the field and made just seven of 19 shots, but wound up with 20 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals while committing only two turnovers in 35 minutes.

Mbe wasn't able to assert himself against La Salle's big men and had 12 points and six boards while Dennice Villamor grinded out a double-double with 10 markers and 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs issued 17 assists while the Archers only had 10.

"I saw the team play together," Altamirano added. "I attribute this win to our teamwork."

Meanwhile, Van Opstal paced La Salle with 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks even as Almond Vosotros helped out with 11 markers.

The win boosted NU into a tie for second place with a 4-3 record while the Archers fell to 3-4.

The Scores:

NU 63 – Parks 20, Mbe 12, Villamor 10, Alolino 9, Neypes 6, Rosario 4, Alejandro 2, Roño 0, Perez 0, Khobuntin 0, Javillionar 0, Javelona 0.

La Salle 56 – Van Opstal 14, Vosotros 11, Teng 9, T. Torres 7, Perkins 6, Salem 5, N. Torres 2, Revilla 2, Tampus 0, De La Paz 0.

Quarters: 20-9, 33-25, 43-42, 63-56.