The Games That Play Us: Thirty Thirty

Ray Parks poured in another thirty-something game
as NU upended the Falcons in OT.


Ray Parks wants to win the MVP Award again. Make no mistake about it. Even if Karim Abdul might be the frontrunner (at least before yesterday’s games), Parks is still one of the favorites to cop the MVP plum. His second-straight 30+ game is a testament to this. He’ll definitely make a big-time run to be called the season’s best player.

His team, however, might not exactly be on the same trajectory.

National University was perhaps the most hyped team heading into the 2012 collegiate basketball season. The Bulldogs’ roster was intact. They had a seasoned coach. They had the reigning MVP. Emmanuel Mbe seems to have left his controversies behind. They swept the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup in ruthless fashion. This was a team that looked ready for a championship conquest unprecedented in the school’s recent past.

More than six weeks into the UAAP’s 75th season, though, things haven’t panned out as smoothly as a lot of people thought. The Bulldogs are hanging precociously on to 4th spot. They haven’t been as devastating as their roster suggests. And, perhaps most noticeable of all, the guys who really clicked in the summer – Mark De Guzman, Jeoff Javillonar, and Gelo Alolino – have been, at best, inconsistent.

This game, despite going down in history as a W, is another proof of how far the Bulldogs still have to go to be mentioned in the same sentence as the term “UAAP Season 75 Champions.”

Consider the following:

NU was tops in fast break points per game after the first round at 14.1 per outing. In this game, they scored just 8 points. For a team that has a super athlete in Parks and several athletic guards and wingmen, 8 fast break points is tantamount to underachieving.

How about this – the Bulldogs turned the ball over more times than Adamson. They turned the ball over 22 times to just 16 for the Falcons. Coach Eric Altamirano is definitely unhappy about that, especially since they averaged just 15.3 turnovers in the first seven games of the season. And the guys with the most turnovers? Parks and Mbe with a combined 12.

This is not good if you’re an NU fan. A win is always a positive thing, but you’d want your team to really make a statement after the big loss against DLSU to end the first round. I mean, see what FEU did! The Bulldogs just didn’t have their usual bite in this encounter, and they should count themselves fortunate that Ray Parks came through with the first thirty-thirty (35 and now 31) back-to-back games in the last decade.

This is, however, not to take anything away from Adamson. They played a hell of a game considering all the hell they’ve gone through. Remember that Alex Nuyles isn’t coming back, and that Rodney Brondial got himself ejected (maybe even suspended) by practicing his boxing skills outside the squared circle. Still, props to Eric Camson for battling like a damn barbarian, to Roider Cabrera for hitting those last two triples that sent the game into OT, and to Ryan Monteclaro, who typified playmaking awesomeness with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Sadly, this might be the best Adamson can muster. They almost upset UST last weekend, and got close with NU here. It’ll be plenty tough for them to keep on doing this, but, hey, they might still have some surprises up their collective sleeve. If anything, this Adamson squad has shown us that they’re definitely no pushovers.

Eric Camson hit some big shots, but he
couldn't help Adamson net its second win.

Ryan Monteclaro and Gelo Alolino continue to be
the primary quarterbacks for their respective teams.


NU 81 – Parks 31, Mbe 14, Roño 9, De Guzman 9, Rosario 6, Villamor 5, Alolino 4, Javillonar 3, Betayene 0, Labing-isa 0, Neypes 0, Singh 0
AdU 77 – Camson 23, Cabrera 22, Cruz 12, Rios 9, Etrone 4, Abrigo 3, Monteclaro 3, Cabigas 1, Agustin 0, Brondial 0, Julkipli 0, Olalia 0, Petilos 0, Trollano 0
Quarter Scores: 16-14, 27-23, 46-41, 71-71, 81-77
Notable Performers:
Ray Parks (NU) – 31pts, 8rebs, 5asts, 3 treys, 2stls
Emmanuel Mbe (NU) – 14pts, 20rebs, 1stl, 1blk
Roider Cabrera (AdU) – 22pts, 7rebs, 5 treys, 1ast

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