Fastbreak: NU nails Final 4, La Salle steps closer

Myke Miravite
NU nails a Final 4 spot while La Salle moved one win away from it in UAAP Season 76.

National University (79) – (62) University of the Philippines

The Best: Ray Parks showed why he is the two-time UAAP MVP as he put on a shooting clinic against the already-eliminated University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons. On Wednesday, he registered his best scoring day so far this season: 30 points on 12 of 20 shooting while also grabbing 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

The Worst: UP meanwhile showed why they are the perennial bottom-dwellers of the UAAP. Just like against Ateneo and La Salle, the Maroons stayed in the game for several quarters only to lose steam late in the game. Against NU, they managed to keep the game close for 23 minutes before getting mauled by the Bulldogs. Can they find an answer to this next season?

Scared-y Maroons: Pressure is off their backs now but the Fighting Maroons seem to be too scared to be taking the rock strong to the basket. Just how tentative were they against NU? UP only made six trips to the freethrow line, all coming from just one player – Raul Soyud. This squad should show aggressiveness if they want to be treated with respect down low.

De La Salle University (75) – (65) University of the East

The Best: Jason Perkins flirted with a double-double against the Red Warriors as he scored 22 points and grabbed 9 boards. What’s more impressive though is that he shot 3-of-3 from beyond-the-arc and 6-of-8 from 2-point territory, including what could have been the game winner if Norbert Torres did not foul Sumang in the dying seconds of the game.

The Worst: They led La Salle for most of the game, even posting 10-point leads in the second half. UE however imploded late as they let the Green Archers return in the dying minutes. When the game went to overtime, the Red Warriors were just so shell-shocked that they forgot how to pass the ball to their teammates. DLSU outscored them in overtime, 19-9.

Missed Chances: Up by one, La Salle big man Torres gifted UE with a red-faced foul with just a few seconds to go in regulation. Roi Sumang – who was then 6-of-8 from the stripe – went to the freethrow line to shoot two, but could only split to send the game in overtime. After that, Sumang never scored again for the rest of the game. –

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