If you think that this is just an ordinary game, well this is not. For the NU Bulldogs, it will be a war, and a matter of life and death. The Bulldogs and FEU Tamaraws will strife in a very decisive game that will decide their chances (for NU) and positioning (for FEU) in the race to the Final Four. In their first round meeting, the Morayta-based dribblers managed to carve out a 61-59 victory, largely thanks to Al Francis Tamsi interception of Alfred Aroga’s pass with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game.
Let’s not also forget the back-to-back booming triples that Mike Tolomia knocked down in the last minutes that made a slight distance against the late rally of NU.
For the Bulldogs to win and have a strong chance for at least a playoff for the last Final Four slot (should DLSU win its last game), they must defend the tall frontline of FEU. Bannered by Mac Belo, Raymar Jose, Russel Escoto and Prince Orizu, the Tamaraws present a headache for the defending champs. Expect mismatches against NU defenders as Coach Nash Racela loves to go big on some occasions of the game.
Also, between Gelo Alolino‘s brilliant playmaking abilities and Alfred Aroga’s immense offensive prowess, the Bulldogs will need help from their inconsistent bench to stand a chance against a very deep and talented Tamaraws. Their previous game against UP must be their blueprint after they flashed good ball movement and spacing to spread their offense.
Athough the last year Final’s rematch is distant in the minds of both teams, their main priority is to improve their current place in the standings, especially the Bulldogs who are fighting for their lives. Should they emerge victorious in this clash, we will probably see another Cinderella run that they pulled off last year.
|TV: LIVE ON ABS-CBN SPORTS AND ACTION|
|TIME: 4:00 PM|
|VENUE: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM|