View from the Enemy: UE Red Warriors
In the span of just a month, the NU Bulldogs have suffered two immense losses in the hands of their next opponents, the UE Red Warriors. UE snatched the championship crown from the then defending champs in the 2013 Filoil Flying V Hanes Cup Premiere. It was a tight ball game and the Warriors were the same team who handed NU their first loss of the 76th season of the UAAP.
What do you call those people who you don’t expect to hurt you but do anyways? Oh yeah!
The Red Warriors definitely broke the hearts of the Bulldogs and every one of their hopefuls. I think it’s about time to put them back into place with a solid jab and a right hook.
This was the game when UE learned how to control NU star player Bobby Ray Parks, who scored only 11 points. This was also the time where National-U had so many turnovers and failed to capitalize on the Warriors’ 15. Although UE dominated the boards with 49 (Charles Mammie had 20 out of those), the Bulldogs had the better time on the field, shooting 39.1% and had better ball movement.
Keys to the Game
There’s not much to change (compared to my NU-UE Round 1 pregame) with regard to the things the Bulldogs need to do to be able to defeat the Red Warriors. If anything, they have to double up the effort.
Limit Sumang 2.0
Lately, people have been labeling Roi Sumang as a “clutch” player. He’s been the trigger for UE’s wins and he’s shown how dangerous he could be in the final seconds in their game against NU in the first round. The heart breaking last-minute triple plus a free throw he made will forever be etched in our memory. This guy has been averaging close to 20 points per game and has been shooting 34.1% from beyond the arc. National-U’s defense will certainly have to focus on this guy. The Bulldogs have to get him out of the three-point area and inside where bigger guys like Emmanuel Mbe and Troy Rosario can challenge his shots.
Take advantage of no Mammie
According to reports, UE’s Mammie, who averages 13.4 ppg and 17.4 rpg, along with Lord Casajeros are banned for two games as a penalty for their unsportsmanlike actions toward FEU’s Terrence Romeo. The UE player suspensions will be implemented in their game against the NU Bulldogs and the following game vs. DLSU. Their center spot is going to have a big hole and that’s something the boys in Gold and Blue have to take advantage of.
Execute on offense
In the Bulldogs’ last game, they performed well from the field, shooting 41.1% and they were also 9 out of 23 from beyond the arc in big part because of Robin Roño’s triples. They have to bring this back to the game and sprinkle in some good ball movement.
The UE Red Warriors have some big holes to fill especially since Mammie’s really going to have to skip this game. One big question for them is “who will be getting the rebounds for them?” This is the part where the NU big men have to come in. They’re the best, if not, one of the best rebounding teams.