NU Bulldogs crush hapless Adamson
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) National University (NU) got off to a hot start and never let up en route to a dominant 80-48 victory against the Adamson Falcons in their second-round encounter Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Veteran big man Emmanuel Mbe scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Bulldogs took a double-digit lead at the end of the first quarter and went on to cruise to the 32-point victory.
It was NU's third straight win of the UAAP Season 76 men's basketball tournament. Their winning streak started following their close loss to the Falcons in the first round.
"It sounds like a cliche, but we were able to do it on defense," said NU coach Eric Altamirano after the game. "We were able to limit them to seven points in the first quarter, and eight points in the fourth quarter."
The Bulldogs played a smart game both on offense and defense, as they not only forced the Falcons to only 36% shooting from the field, but also got their running game rolling en route to 23 points in transition.
"It all boils down to our stops. Fortunately, this game we were able to run and get some points in transition. Nagkasabay 'yung offense namin at 'yung defense namin for this game," said Altamirano.
The Bulldogs ended the opening frame on a 13-0 run, with Ray Parks scoring seven points, to break away from a close 8-7 count and make it a 14-point game, 21-7.
They would lead by as much as 18 points, 37-19, in the second quarter after a breakaway basket by Maurice Porter.
But the Falcons had a strong end to the half, with Ingrid Sewa scoring back-to-back buckets and Jericho Cruz adding a lay-up of his won. Adamson went into halftime down by 12, 25-37.
The Bulldogs only outscored the Falcons 18-15 in the third quarter, but stepped on the pedal again in the final period when they out-scored Adamson 25-8.
While Parks and Mbe did their damage, the Bulldogs' reserves also stepped up in the fourth frame with Gelo Alolino, Robin Rono and Glenn Khobuntin all contributing to the scoresheet. A buzzer-beating triple by Kyle Neypes put the finishing touches on the overwhelming victory.
It was the biggest margin of victory in the UAAP since the Bulldogs trounced University of the East, 90-55, in the first game of Season 75.
The Falcons have now lost four straight games and five of their last six. As a team, they shot 36% from the field, turned the ball over 23 times, and were out-rebounded 30-41.
Roider Cabrera scored 12 points, while Cruz added 11. But the rest of the Falcons again struggled, with big man Sewa scoring only eight points and was badly outplayed by Mbe.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Parks backed up Mbe's 21-point effort with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Point guard Alolino continued his strong play, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing nine assists to make up for his six-point performance.
NU improved to 6-3 this season, just behind the Far Eastern University Tamaraws who dropped to 6-2 following a loss to La Salle Sunday night. Adamson slumped to a 3-6 record.
NU 80 -- Mbe 21, Parks 16, Rono 8, Porter 6, Javillonar 5, Alolino 6, Rosario 5, Khobuntin 4, Neypes 3, Javelona 3, Villamor 2, Perez 0, Labing-isa 0, De Guzman 0, Alejandro 0
ADU 48 - Cabrera 12, Cruz 11, Sewa 8, Petilos 5, Brondial 5, Garcia 2, Agustin 2, Abrigo 2, Monteclaro 1, Trollano 0, Rios 0, Ochea 0, Julkipli 0, Inigo 0
Quarter-scoring: 21-7, 37-25, 55-40, 80-48