View from the Enemy: NU Bulldogs
Some Gilas Love
First and foremost, congratulations to Gilas Pilipinas for winning silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship. Proud moment for all Filipinos. Shoutout to former FEU player Jeff Chan. One of the best three point shooters in the Philippines and in Asia! Perfect fit in Coach Chot’s dribble drive offense and spreads the floor really well, deadly sniper. He made 2.2 threes per game (20/42) at a 47.6% clip. Also shoutout to FEU coaches — Nash Racela and Josh Reyes for everything they’ve done for Gilas.
FEU vs. NU, Round 2
The FEU Tamaraws won their first round matchup this year versus the NU Bulldogs. They looked dominant and massacred the Bulldogs through three quarters and gained a 20-point lead. The fourth quarter was a different story where the effort wasn’t the same (could’ve been fatigue). They lost the big lead and escaped with a four-point win.
FEU has got to play strong through four quarters. There is no doubt NU will bring their A-game against the unbeaten Tamaraws and try to get payback for their first round defeat.
Keys to the game (Bruno Mars theme)
It Will Rain
FEU shot ridiculously well against NU in the first round matchup, shooting 15/29 (51.7%) from three. It turns out FEU’s attack plan matches up really well with the NU Bulldogs since they are one of the worst in the league in defending perimeter shots (averaging 31.0 perimeter points allowed and 49/167 or 29.3% threes allowed). FEU should continue the dribble drive motion offense and find open shooters, drain the threes and make it rain!
Locked out of Heaven
The FEU defense has got to pack the paint and defend the interior shots. NU’s strength lies in getting to the line and getting baskets inside. FEU has to make the Bulldogs shoot from the perimeter where they have struggled producing only 19.9 perimeter points per game (worst in league) and shooting only 31/124 or 25% from three.
FEU has got to run, run, runaway, runaway baby! And get to the open court. The Tamaraws average a league-best 11.6 fastbreak points per game. They should run whenever they can and get easy baskets.
In my opinion, the two-week break gives the advantage to every team except FEU. The momentum is paused for a bit and struggling teams are given time to figure out opponents’ strategies and fix the issues within their team. I think the NU Bulldogs will adjust to the game plan of the FEU Tamaraws and will give them a hard time. I still believe though that FEU has established their identity as a team and is more cohesive unit right now than the NU Bulldogs. I predict the FEU Tamaraws will win in a close fight.