UST Growling Tigers is set to another win or go home match this Sunday (Sept 22) and this time around it will be against the top seeded NU Bulldogs who is enjoying a twice to beat advantage. Coming of a huge win over the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles, the Tigers will be playing with a lot of confidence on their shoulder. The Bulldogs might beat the Tigers twice this season but with the momentum that the España troopers are riding on right now it isn’t a long shot for them to score an upset.

There are a lot of good match-up to look out for in this semi-finals game. One is Bobby Ray Parks and Kevin Ferrer. Another is Emmanuel Mbe and Karim Abdul. And of course Joeffrey Javillonar and Jeric Teng. In a game like this it is given that these six players will deliver and bring goods to their respective teams. The question now will be the performances of the other players. It will surely serve as the barometer of the success of their team.

Keys of the Game

Rebounds

At the end of the elimination round UST came on top of the list in the rebounding department averaging 47.8 rebounds per game while NU have to settle to the fifth slot with their 44.7 rpg. It is important for the Tigers to show the Bulldogs why they are number one in rebounding department as controlling the boards will do wonders for the Tigers. It will not only give them more opportunity to score on second chance points but it will help them limit the fast break points of NU Bulldogs, which leads us the second key point for this game.

Karim Abdul grabbed a rebound over Emmanuel Mbe (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange)

Karim Abdul grabbed a rebound over Emmanuel Mbe (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange)

Fast Break Points

NU Bulldogs likes to run and they have the numbers to back it up. Bulldogs lead all teams in fast break points and they outscored the Tigers in fast break points in their round two encounter, 25 against eight points. UST has to figure out a way how to slow down the Bulldogs and avoid their run and gun game.

Kevin Ferrer attacking the NU's defense (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, Yahoo Sports)

Kevin Ferrer attacking the NU’s defense (Photo Credit: Czeasar Dancel, Yahoo Sports)

Half-court defense wise, Tigers are giving the Bulldogs a hard time. How the Tigers will extend their defense on the open court situation will be critical in their mission to further lengthen their season 76 campaign.

Turnovers

UST and NU are averaging almost the same amount of turnovers and opponent’s turnovers, ranging around 15 TO a game. But the thing that separate them are their turnover points. In their round two matchup the Bulldogs were able to capitalize on Tigers 15 TO by scoring 15 TO points. On the other hand, UST had forced NU to commit nine TO but they failed to score even a single point. This resulted to a -15 points in the TO points alone. The Tigers cannot afford for this kind of stat again. They need to do a better job in protecting the ball and capitalizing on their opponent’s TO.

Kim Lo trying to save the ball from going out (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange)

Kim Lo trying to save the ball from going out (Photo Credit: PinoyExchange)

Prediction

UST is a very dangerous team in games like this and if they played with the same intensity and team work as they did against Ateneo, they will definitely book another KO match. With the way the Tigers are playing right now, I am predicting a win for them.