NU Bulldogs looked sharp and outran the UST Growling Tigers to continue on with their four-game winning streak. This win solidify Bulldog’s grip at the top two spot of the standing and makes them only half a game behind FEU Tamaraws.
On the other hand, UST’s misfortunes kept on piling up as they are now in a three-game losing streak. Add to that their team captain, Jeric Teng, is obviously not yet in game shape as he incurred severe cramping in his right hamstring late in second quarter that eventually forced him to sit out for the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs dominated the Tigers by continuously pushing the ball. Right after securing a rebound or forcing a turnover, the rest of the NU Bulldogs ran and attack the basket disallowing the Tigers to set up their half-court defense. This formula worked like magic for the Bulldogs as it resulted into a 10-point margin coming into the fourth period.
Come the final canto, the Tigers provided a scare by dominating the first five and half minutes and cut the lead to only a single possession, 60-57. Unfortunately, this proved to be the last hurrah of the Tigers as they were limited to only four points for the rest of the game while Bulldogs pour in 15 more. The free throw woes of the Tigers late in the fourth virtually slammed the door for them. While UST were missing their FTs NU were knocking down big shot after big shot to finish off the game at 75-61.
Review of the Keys of the Game
What’s the score again? 75-61, right? Wherein the winner broke the 70 barrier while the loser failed to. The key to this game really was NU’s defense and their ability to run right after they got the defensive rebound. The Bulldogs were able to score 25 points on their fastbreak attempts while Tigers only manages to squeeze eight points. Evidently, these key point was owned by the Bulldogs.
Shoot that Ball
The Tigers were able to improve their eFG percentage by coming up with a decent 41.8% but this was not enough as the Bulldogs were still able to shoot better with their 47.3%. NU Bulldogs totally ruled the shooting department be it in 3pt or 2pt shots. Another ‘x’ mark for the Tigers.
Convert those TOs to Pts
The Bulldogs overwhelmingly controlled this key point – the TO points of the Tigers is zero as compared to 15 points for the Bulldogs. The discrepancy is just too much for the Tigers to get over with. Aside from surrendering too much TO points and not getting any, the Tigers also failed to force their opponent to commit turnovers. Something that the Tigers have been doing well this season but against the Bulldogs, they only got nine TOs while giving up 15 of their own.
NU Bulldogs defended, shot the ball well and add to that they also forced a lot of turnovers and was able to convert them into points. Indeed, a total domination by the NU Bulldogs as they’ve been doing these in their past games and as a result they are now riding on with a four-game winning streak.
Remember what I said in my pregame primer? This game might just be a turning point for the Tigers and they lost it. With only five games left and still needing to win at least four games to secure a spot at the top 4, UST’s chances is now becoming slimmer and slimmer.