It was definitely not the same National University Bulldogs who showed up in their last game against UE Red Warriors. Although they managed a tight ball game, it still wasn’t enough. Big guns like Ray Parks and Dennis Villamor didn’t step up to the plate; it was such a big hole that they needed to fill and NU’s starting center, Emmanuel Mbe couldn’t do it all by himself.
All throughout the game, the main guys of National-U struggled offensively. Villamor’s only contribution was a converted triple in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter while Parks who has been locked down by UE’s defense, only scored 11 points, three out of 16 from the field and seven rebounds. Mbe, the only man who kept the team in the game pitched in 18 points and 11 boards. He was the only one who reached double figures in the team and the highest scorer as well.
Reviewing the Keys to the Game
1. Limit Sumang
The Bulldogs failed to control Roi Sumang. He scored 19 baskets and six rebounds. He was also deadly from the outside and NU had a hard time defending him from there. He made a clutch three-pointer, plus a free throw from a foul in the dying seconds of the game. It ended the game 71-67.
2. Box out Mammie
It was horrifying to look at NU Bulldogs’ rebounding compared to UE’s. The Bulldogs managed to get 44 boards while UE had 49—out of which 27 were offensive rebounds. The plan was to keep Mammie out of the paint or at least challenge him but without a spare center that could go up against this 6’7” bulky Warrior, the Bulldogs was unsuccessful securing needed rebounds.
3. Cut down Turnovers
At least, there is one check out of my three keys. The NU Bulldogs adjusted and was able to limit their turnovers against the Red Warriors. They only had 15 turnovers while UE had 25.
Even though the Bulldogs managed to decrease their turnovers, it still wasn’t enough to save them from the wrath of UE’s outside shooting and inside rebounding. The boys from the Blue and Gold failed to translate the Red Warriors 25 turnovers into baskets, only scoring 15 turnover points. They also missed Ray Parks’ scoring, Villamor’s treys and Mbe’s rebounds. It wasn’t a pretty battle. There were a lot of missed chances and missing pieces but knowing the abilities of the Bulldogs, they are going to bounce back against UE Red Warriors in the second round.