Saturday, 16 July 2011

No grand debut

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, July 16, 2011 0 comments


Ray Parks Jr. Fails to shine in first game as a bulldog
BOBBY Ray Parks JR. had the golden opportunity to make his debut with National University (NU) a grand one.
But the 18-year-old rookie failed to convert in the Bulldogs’ final possession and allowed University of Santo Tomas (UST) to escape with a 73-72 thrilling win in overtime on Thursday in the 74th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
Parks drove hard to the baseline but was met by a phalanx of Growling Tigers who forced him to miss. UST rookie Kevin Ferrer collared the rebound and sealed the win for the 2006 champions.
“It’s the first game. ‘Got to shake off some cobwebs,” said Parks, who finished with 16 points but was five-of-17 from the field. He also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three attempts.
“We’ve got to bounce back the next game. We’re a rookie team. So next game, I’ve got to come out with it,” he added.
Playing his first game as a Bulldog, Parks was a little too tentative. He lost the ball in his first crack at the basket inside the first 30 seconds of the match and missed his first three attempts before scoring on a putback, his first field goal 3:40 mark in the second period.
He had a couple of fine moments though—a huge triple that pushed NU to within one, 68-69, and his 15-foot floater that gave the Bulldogs a 72-71 lead with 1:19 remaining.
But Jeric Fortuna was there to spoil his debut as the five-foot-eight guard scored on a jumper to give the lead back to the Growling Tigers, 73-72, with 39.1 ticks left.
Jul-ashri Ignacio committed a huge error in the next NU play as he dribbled on his foot. But UST failed to capitalized and gave the Bulldogs another shot at the win.
Parks, isolated against Jeric Teng, melt a few seconds and unlike in regulation, where he also had the chance for the last shot but opted to pass the ball to Cederick Labing-isa, decided to take charge. But his attempt was way off the mark.
“He did good for a rookie who played his first game in the league,” said Parks’ father Bobby, who is also the assistant athletic director of NU. “He played good but he did not shot very well. He’ll get better in the coming games and I know he will.”
Fortuna led all scorers with 23 points while Ferrer added 12 and 11 rebounds, an impressive showing for the former UAAP Juniors MVP in the game that ended at 65-65 in regulation.
“For me, Jeric is one of the best point guards in the league this season. Made na talaga ’yung bata,” said UST head coach Pido Jarencio. “As for Kevin, nagpapasalamat ako at naglaro siya sa amin. Grabe ang loyalty niya.”
Veteran forward Chris Camus had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Growling Tigers, who also got quality minutes from Nigerian rookie center Karim Abdul.
As for Parks, Jarencio said there’s no doubt that the NU player is very talented and it so happened that they came prepared for him.
“Magaling talaga ’yung bata [Parks],” said Jarencio. “Pero mukhang buhos na ’yung laro niya. Ewan ko lang kung may ipapakita pa siyang laro. Or siguro maganda lang talaga ang depensa namin sa kaniya.”
In the second game, University of the Philippines snapped an 18-game losing skid that started two seasons ago by beating University of the East, 69-61.
Mike Gamboa fired a game-high 19 points, including a huge three-pointer, in the closing minute as the Fighting Maroons finally booked a win since their 83-78 triumph over De La Salle on August 22, 2009, at The Arena in San Juan.
“Finally the monkeys are off our backs,” said UP head coach Ricky Dandan as the Diliman-based team went 0-14 last season with Aboy Castro and Boyet Fernadez as coaches.
“But we’re a work in progress. A lot of things still have to be done. At least now, the players now know how to win again,” he added.
Mike Silungan added 15 points and four steals for UP, which also got 13 markers from Jose Manuel off the bench.
Paul Zamar was the only Red Warrior in double figures with 14 points for rookie coach Jerry Codinera. --Joel Orellana


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