View from the Enemy: NU Bulldogs
After that upsetting loss to the Tamaraws, the well-rested Red Warriors are looking to get into the win column this Saturday (July 6) at the expense of the NU Bulldogs. It’s not an easy feat – last year the Bulldogs crushed the Red Warriors in the first game of the season, they lost by 35 points. The second round game was much, much better (lost by only nine points) and the FilOil match-up even better where they took the crown from the barking Bulldogs.
The NU Bulldogs, on the other hand, are coming of a victory against the five time champions, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The Bulldogs just dominated their matchup against the Blue Eagles – leading by as much as 20 – before a late game swoon made it closer than it should. The biggest key there was the Bulldogs ability to rebound the ball.
Keys to the Game
Mammie needs to avoid foul trouble
Easier said than done, yes. being up against Mbe, a bit smaller but more skilled an experienced than him, will definitely test him. We’ll need him to get rebounds for us – he had a spectacular rebounding split of 30/31/30, albeit in 17 minutes. Why? Because he battled foul trouble through out the game. NU is among the strongest rebounding team (Mbe, Parks, Javillonar) so Mammie needs to help the Red Warriors in this department.
Again and again, the shooters will have to step up – it can make or break the team. Sumido can’t continue making a brick house (that’s what they call it, right?) with all his missed shots both from the field and from the free throw line. More importantly, Roi Sumang will need that spacing in his assaults to the rim. Without that spacing, Sumang will have a hard time not only scoring inside but creating for others as well. We’ll have to wait and see.
Well this guy can shoot, pass and drive. He can post up, he can create coming off a screen or from a pick and roll. Saying one of your keys is “Contain Parks” is like saying “I need to see a unicorn” – it’s probably not happening in the literal sense. Instead, you can just buy a pony and stick it with a cardboard horn. That’s a unicorn, right?
Similarly, The Red Warriors need key-in on Parks because he’s the driver, the engine and the wheels to his team’s offense – without him, it’ll crumble. Force him right (he doesn’t finish nearly as well as he finishes driving to the left), overload on his side, force him to take contested and difficult shots. Attack him aggressively on pick and rolls. The point is, UE needs to do everything they can to contain Parks.
As much as I want the Warriors ro win, their inconsistency in shooting leads me to think that the Bulldogs will take this game. Let’s hope and see that the Warriors will prove me wrong.