It was bitter-sweet win for the National University Bulldogs – with or without Kiefer Ravena playing for the opposing team. The Bulldogs have never won against Ateneo Blue Eagles in five years and finally, getting one against them was definitely one for the books.
Although a shaky fourth quarter, the boys from Sampaloc managed to come out with a win. Bobby Ray Parks Jr. that scored 22 points, nine rebounds and dished out four assists has been the lighting spark for the team. In the first couple of quarters, both teams struggled with their shooting, NU only having 37.7 FG% while Ateneo had 22.2 FG%.
Reviewing Keys to the Game
- Get inside. The Bulldogs tried to go outside to score points and has been effective as well. Lee Villamor scored 13 points, 12 of them came from long distance shooting. National-U has out-rebounded the Eagles 52-39 with Emmanuel Mbe getting 15 boards.
- Stop the King Eagle from Flying. Ateneo’s go-to-guy was out the rest of the game after playing close to five minutes. The NU Bulldogs took this to their advantage to end the game 64-54.
- Silence the sixth-man. The silence from the Ateneo crowd was deafening; I’ve never seen such in the time I’ve been watching the UAAP and it was definitely a sight to see especially when the mass from the Gold and Blue erupted into cheers when Parks hit a big three towards the end of the game after committing an unforced error.
Head Coach Eric Altamirano admittedly felt like the team’s defense relaxed during the game. They had 23 turnovers towards the end of the game while Ateneo only having 16. He noted, “We really want to correct this, it’s one of the things we want to correct this season,” via GMA News. If they can limit this early in the first round, it’s going to be one hell of a season for the National University Bulldogs.