UAAP: Bulldogs draw first blood, crush Warriors
The National University Bulldogs notched a huge statement victory against the University of the East Red Warriors, 90-55, in the inaugural game of the 75th UAAP men's seniors division basketball tournament, played at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Jeoff Javillonar led this year's host school with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Reigning MVP Bobby Ray Parks added 16 markers and six assists. Gelo Alolino had 12 points and seven dimes, while newcomer Spencer Rosario added 10 points. CSB transferee Mark De Guzman had eight points.
The Warriors were simply outclassed in the open court as National University held a 28-0 margin in fastbreak points. The Bulldogs also showcased their depth, tallying 34 points off the bench, with five players scoring at least eight points. They also dished out 28 assists in the process, against only seven by UE.
UE point guard Roi Sumang led all scorers with 21 points, including 10 in the first quarter. Sam Razon and Bong Gallanza registered eight points apiece.
Early on, the Warriors were frustrated by the Bulldogs' interior defense, as they were unable to convert several attempts at the rim. National University faced similar problems igniting their transition game, but came away with slightly better results as Alolino and Javillonar scored twice in the paint. A floater in the lane by Roy Sumang finally put UE on the scoreboard, trailing 4-2, heading into a timeout.
Bong Gallanza and Sumang drained consecutive triples for the Warriors, compensating for NU's tough interior. But Bulldogs became unstoppable at the rim, scoring nine points in the area, punctuated by an and-one play from Alolino. However the lead didn't last long as Sumang took over in the closing minutes, scoring the team's last five points to edge ahead, 15-13, after the first period.
The Bulldogs came out guns blazing at the start of the second quarter, as Parks connected twice from downtown. Cedric Labing-isa and Rosario joined the three-point party, building a 12-2 run to move ahead, 25-17, with under seven minutes to play in the half.
Adrian Santos finally scored in the paint to give the Warriors their second field goal in the quarter, but the Bulldogs continued to pounce on UE's miscues on offense, quickly turning misses and turnovers into a 13-0 run. Then on clean-up, NU fired off a 10-4 run in the last two minutes, backed by five points from Rosario. Javillonar banged in a triple from the right baseline at the buzzer, planting the Bulldogs firmly ahead, 48-23.
National University was relentless after the break, going on an 8-2 run highlighted by a couple of slams by Parks and Emmanuel Mbe, after the latter sat out the entire first half because he was wearing a jersey without his player number. The Warriors tried to play catch-up throughout the period as Anthony Olayon scored five of UE's next 11, but they still trailed, 65-36, with two and a half minutes left in the quarter.
On the next possession, Alolino scored on the break for NU. The point guard next drained an open three before Denice Villamor finished in transition, padding the margin for the Bulldogs at 72-40 after thirty minutes of play.
With the outcome decided, both teams tapered off in the final period. National University, however, reasserted its dominance in the final two minutes, as De Guzman fed Rosario for an alley-oop before draining a trey of his own, as the Bulldogs closed the game on a 12-6 run.
The victory was the largest winning margin on opening day in ten years. The previous record was held by a 89-61 FEU Tamaraws win over UE.
In their last two outings in the league, NU defeated the Warriors by an average of 37.5 points.
It was a morale-boosting win for the host school, proving that their undefeated record during the FilOil Flying V Pre-season Tournament, which culminated in their first championship there, was no fluke. They then get an extended break before facing the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles next Sunday. UE on the other hand, will try to rebound against the DLSU Green Archers on Thursday. - AMD, GMA News
NU 90: Javillonar 19, Parks 18, Alolino 12, Rosario 10, De Guzman 8, Villamor 6, Mbe 4, Labing-isa 3, Ignacio 3, Betayene 3, Perez 2, Neypes 2, Celda 2, Singh 0, Rono 0, Khobuntin 0
UE 55: Sumang 21, Razon 8, Gallanza 8, Olayon 7, Santos 4, Belleze 2, Javier 2, Flores 2, Sumido 1, Alberto 0, Villarias 0, Valdez 0, Duran 0, Duncil 0
Quarter scoring: 13-15, 48-23, 72-40, 90-55