Parks game winner gives NU 6th win
by rick olivares
May 6, 2013
San Juan Arena
Ray Parks hit an 18-foot jumper with three seconds left to lift National University to a pulsating 70-68 win over hard luck Adamson at the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup yesterday at the San Juan Arena.
Parks rescued the Bulldogs from the jaws of defeat when they overhauled a four-point deficit with under two minutes to play and the ball in the hands of the Falcons.
NU led by for three-fourths of the game including a 14-point lead they erected, 28-14, after a triple by Troy Rosario. However, the Bulldogs grabbed their early lead due to the strong post presence of Cameroonian center Alfred Aroga who outplayed Adamson counterpart Ingrid Sewa.
Aroga won his personal duel with countryman Sewa by tallying 20 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks including one rejection on the latter after which he dribbled the length of the court then dunked the ball right before the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter.
Sewa finished with eight points and eight rebounds as he was largely outplayed by the slightly smaller although more mobile Aroga.
Adamson methodically came back due to the heads up by play of third string point guard Matthew Bernabe, do-it-all forward Jericho Cruz, and surprise package Luther Abrigo who normally doesn’t get much playing time.
Abrigo started for his side and he immediately made an impact by scoring four of Adamson’s six points. But the Bulldogs put some distance between them and their UAAP foe with some clinical finishing. From the opening tip won by NU, Parks attacked the basket and got a lay-up. Aroga scored from point blank range off a drop pass by Parks. Then Denice Villamor drilled a three from the left corner for an early 7-0 lead with three minutes played.
Then Aroga scored eight of NU’s next eleven points including the buzzer-beating dunk for a 21-12 first quarter lead.
The second quarter saw NU pad their lead to 14 after which Bernabe, Cruz, and Abrigo went to work. Bernabe was huge as he hit two triples including a drive inside the lane on NU opposite Robin Roño who he traded trash talk with in the midst of the Adamson rally.
Ironically, the charges of Leo Austria got back in the game with Sewa on the bench. Although smaller than NU, they had a more mobile team on the floor that masterminded the overhaul of the deficit.
With NU up by 12 in the middle of the third period, Adamson dropped a 16-4 bomb anchored on the eight points of Bernabe to level the count at 43-all for the game’s first deadlock.
The Bulldogs answered with a run of their own with points coming from Cedrick Labing-isa, JJ Alejandro, and Aroga for a 56-50 lead but the Falcons instead of folding came right back.
Abrigo hit two crucial free throws to forge a 62-all deadlock and to send the game into overtime with 19.4 seconds left as NU bungled its chances to win the game outright.
Adamson literally suffered a heavy blow when Abrigo had to leave the game with a little over two minutes left to play. The second year forward, who scored 12 points in his first starting role, took an elbow from Troy Rosario that busted his forehead sending some blood trickling down his face. Sewa who was on the bench due to four fouls replaced him.
Upon his return to the floor, the Cameroonian managed to nurse his fouls while contributing mightily to Adamson’s offensive end. The Falcons took a four-point lead after two free throws and a tip in by Cameroonian center Ingrid Sewa with 1:52 in overtime. But NU counterpart Alfred Aroga hit a fadeaway jumper to bring the Adamson lead down to two. In Adamson’s next possession, Cruz tried to lob the ball to teammate Jansen Rios but Aroga batted the ball away to a teammate. A Rios foul on Parks saw the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player sink two crucial free throws for the game’s final deadlock, 68-all. A short runner by Rios gave the ball back to NU after which Parks drilled the jumper.
Cruz almost won the match with a 40-foot desperation three but the ball hit the front rim of the basket.
Said Parks who topscored for the game with 28 points while compiling six rebounds, three assists, and two steals: “Coach had faith I me to take that last second shot,” said Parks. ‘After I missed it in the fourth.”
Cruz led Adamson with 16 points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals while Abrigo added 12 points.