The Games That Play Us: Glenn’s Glee Is DLSU’s Dismay

Ray Parks and the Bulldogs elevated over the Archers
to close in on a Final Four berth.


With only two games remaining on their schedule and three other teams vying for the remaining Final Four berths, the De La Salle Green Archers are backed against the wall. This, of course, after they lost to an NU Bulldogs squad that had Ray Parks explode for 32 big ones.

It’s extremely easy to attribute this NU win solely to Parks’s second straight 30+ game against DLSU (he scored 35 in a first round double-overtime loss), but, at least IMHO, he wasn’t the biggest difference-maker. Yes, we cannot deny his output. The second-generation star shot 54% from 2-point range and 86% from the line. He grabbed 8 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and blocked 2 shots. He was everywhere. He did pretty much everything AND still found time and energy to jaw with Almond Vosotros.

But we already knew he’d do that anyway. La Salle knew. Everybody in MOA Arena last Sunday knew. A guy like Parks cannot be stopped at this level. He can only be slowed down.

The guy who WAS stopped was Emmanuel Mbe. The Cameroonian big guy played just 18 foul-plagued minutes, producing a paltry line of 4 points, 2 blocks and only 2 rebounds. His main back-up, Henri Betayene, played 22 defensively-great minutes. He ended up with 6 boards and 2 rejections. Troy Rosario, another one of NU’s 6’7” or taller players, scored 6 markers and collared 7 caroms, but he shot just 1-of-5 from the floor. The guy who really compensated for Mbe’s ineffectiveness, the guy who tried to stick to Jeron Teng like glue while battling with Taft’s bigs, though, was former Letran Squire Glenn Khobuntin.

Khobuntin was one third of Letran’s three-headed scoring monster in high school. His scoring partners back then were Jarelan Tampus, who, ironically, was on the other end of the floor in this match, and Roi Sumang of UE. Khobuntin was known as a versatile big guy, someone who could play 3, 4, or 5. He had a decent mid-range game, but his bread-and-butter was carving up the interior. He was a perennial 20-point, 10-rebound guy for Letran until he graduated in 2010

When he went to NU, there wasn’t much hype about him. The transfer of former teammate Tampus and NCAA Season 85 Juniors MVP Louie Vigil to La Salle made more noise. Ditto with the move of San Beda’s Arthur Dela Cruz to Ateneo for what would eventually be just one year of experience in the UAAP Seniors Division.

Even in the past two seasons, Khobuntin has rarely been noticed. With Mbe, Parks, Gelo Alolino, and a host of other names adding depth to a revamped NU Basketball program, Khobuntin has seemingly sunk into the depths of obscurity. Prior to this game, in fact, he averaged just 1.0 point and 1.2 rebounds in only 4.8 minutes per game.

He wasn’t really in a rut. He was just stuck in limbo on a team where he was nowhere near the main guy.

That changed in this game.

He was given his fifth start of the season, but this time he made his presence felt immediately. Khobuntin scored all 6 of his points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and dished out 1 assist in the first half as Mbe played just 5 minutes. He never scored again, but he continued to play solid inside, grabbing 3 more boards to lead NU in that department for the whole game. All in all, Khobuntin had 6 markers, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists to his name. It was an NU rout thanks in no small part to his unheralded contribution.

Coach Eric Altamirano, however, took notice in the postgame presscon. When asked by this fan/observer about his thoughts on Khobuntin’s performance, Altamirano was all praises. He felt Khobuntin was a good match-up for Teng, and that he really had a penchant for being a tenacious inside operator. The former RP-Youth coach also hinted at giving his resurgent weapon some more burn as the Bulldogs make their last push for the Final Four.

As for the dismal DLSU Green Archers, they’re two games away from, at best, though nothing short of a minor miracle is needed for this to happen, second place, or, at worst, another finish outside of the Final Four. Yes, there are certain stats that seem strange, like NU shooting 30 free throws compared to just 7 for La Salle, but, Jeron Teng aside, the Archers have never really been known to be aggressive in attacking the basket. Even Norbert Torres seemed like he was more Yogi bear than grizzly bear. How many gimmes did he miss down low? How many times did he just hurl the ball over Betayene’s arms instead of taking it strong? We can all curse NU and the Sys to the high heavens for the breaks (both on the court and off of it) they’ve recently received, but we cannot deny the Greenies’ shortcomings, too.

They were grossly outrebounded, 32-47, and were outshot from the field, 37.5%-43.1%. This is despite the fact La Salle had TWENTY ONE more field goal attempts. Now that should make up for the free throw difference, right?

This is sad for La Salle because they had such a promising start to the season. This also shows how they sorely miss LA Revilla. Almond Vosotros seems like a more gifted scorer, but Revilla is definitely the kind of playmaker that brings out the best in his teammates. If the Archers do miss out on the Final Four again, then that would be the biggest cause of their dismay.

*Things aren’t set yet. If La Salle wins its last two assignments, they have a shot at #2, but against FEU and the unpredictable Falcons, that’s easier said than done. At 7-4, NU isn’t a sure Final Four team, either. They need to win AT LEAST two of their last three for a CLEAR passage into the playoffs.

Gelo Alolino quarterbacked well as
NU won its seventh game of the season.

Glenn Khobuntin (R) played his best game of Season 75 to
help the Bulldogs rout the Archers.
(image from the University Basketball League)

LA Revilla puts his head in his hands as his team
might miss out on the Final Four again.

The scores:

NU 72 – Parks 32, Alolino 11, Rosario 6, Khobuntin 6, De Guzman 6, Mbe 4, Javillonar 4, Villamor 3, Singh 0, Roño 0, Betayene 0
DLSU 62 – Teng 20, Vosotros 13, Van Opstal 7, Torres N 6, Mendoza 4, Torres T 3, Manguera 3, Andrada 2, Tampus 2, Revilla 2, Webb 2
QS: 15-15, 36-26, 56-45, 72-62
Key Performances:
Ray Parks (NU) – 32pts, 8rebs, 3asts 2blks
Glenn Khobuntin (NU) – 6pts, 9rebs, 2asts
Jeron Teng (DLSU) – 20pts, 4rebs, 4asts, 1blk

Unless otherwise specified, all images are from
Next Post »
0 Comment