View from the Enemy: Ateneo Blue Eagles
With the new UAAP season comes a new series of challenges — especially for the National University Bulldogs. They are battling first the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles on Sunday, June 30 at 4 p.m. in Mall of Asia Arena.
Although tagged as the favorite coming into the season, the Bulldogs aren’t underestimating the squad from Katipunan that has five back-to-back UAAP championship titles under their belt, neither are the other six teams. In the league’s press conference last June 25, Coach Eric Altamirano said that “I hope the tag can translate into wins pero hindi. So we have to prove ourselves first.” via Rappler.
Keys to the Game
- Get inside. This Ateneo squad isn’t the same team that competed last season – losing big guys like Justin Chua, Nico Salva and Greg Slaughter. Ray Parks and the rest of the team needs to take this to their advantage especially now that they’re a much taller team than Ateneo. With Alfred Aroga and Emmanuel Mbe taking charge inside the paint, the opposing squad is going to have a difficult time defending them.
- Stop the King Eagle from flying. As you may have heard millions of times, this Ateneo Blue Eagles is Ravena’s team now. The Bulldogs has to limit him from either scoring or creating plays for his teammates. I don’t mean that they have to defend him all the time but if this 19-year old guard gets just a glimpse of the basket, it’s going to be difficult to tame him again.
- Silence the sixth-man. One sparks starts a fire especially for the Blue and White crowd. The National-U squad needs to prevent the cheers from the Ateneo side erupting by scoring more points and playing good defense because it’s going to be hard to silence them again. It’s not only a battle of players on the court but also the screaming fans and obviously, the NU community is at a disadvantage. The Bulldogs should not allow their opponents on the court make big shots because the momentum will shift away from them and it’ll add more pressure to the team.
The National University Bulldogs will have a tough time in this bout especially when they’re facing a team with new faces and talents but knowing this squad from Sampaloc, they’ll be giving everything they’ve got even if it means clipping Eagles’ wings.
The ADMU vs. UP game will be tomorrow, June 30, 4 p.m. at the MOA Arena.