The offensive juggernauts against the defensive ministers.
Rematch of last year’s finals.
NU versus FEU.
Riding high on a three-game winning streak, the NU Bulldogs will try to notch their fourth victory as they face the current number one team in the field, the FEU Tamaraws. It’s very hard not to be excited in this game due to the fact that both teams are currently on their own winning momentum. In their last outing against the upset-minded Adamson Falcons, the Tamaraws needed the clutch heroics of Mike Tolomia to dispose the former. On the other hand, the Bulldogs continued their defensive mastery over the skidding UP Fighting Maroons.
KEYS TO WINNING
- It seems that the defending champs don’t look shaken right now as their defense was top notch in the last three assignments. For them to stop the dynamic duo of Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, the Bulldogs need to defend their dribble-drive motion offense very well. Tolomia was so good in attacking the rim and creating for a whopping 37.1% assist rate. Meanwhile, Belo was not far in terms of contributions for last year’s runner-up, as he’s sporting a team-high 29.9 PER. The former Gilas cadet is a stellar player this season. His much-improved jumper and post-up game usually creates mismatch problems on the opposing end. Against arguably the best 1-2 punch combo in the entire field, NU must assert their dominance on the defensive end to score another victory.
- Alfred Aroga, the anchor of NU’s suffocating defense, is slowly but surely making his presence felt. The reigning Finals MVP averaged crunchy numbers of 13 points and almost 12 boards per game. He even had a monster rebounding performance against UP in which he hauled down 22 of the team’s 38 rebounds. The scarier part is the idea that Aroga haven’t reached his full potential yet.
- This is going to be a battle of two opposite game plans. The Bulldogs, as we all know, love to control a slow tempo of the game via their patented defense. In order for them to stand any chance against this FEU squad, they must held down their opponent to 30 percent from the field. NU really loves this type of scenario in winning games. Meanwhile, the Tamaraws will heavily rely on their offense. The Morayta-based squad is sporting a tremendous offensive rating of 99.3 per 100.
It looks though that the Bulldogs are not looking to take a break after emerging victorious in their last three games. Although it is a daunting task to upend the league’s number one team, they will exploit defensive matches that will disrupt the dribble-drive offense. I’m expecting another NU win as they go to the next round, riding on a great amount of momentum.
Featured Image Credit: rappler.com