The National University Bulldogs overpowered the UP Fighting Maroons. The final margin may be wide, but it wasn’t a walk in the park for the boys in Gold and Blue as NU just couldn’t shake off a scrappy UP team who were close behind the Bulldogs after three quarters. It was only in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs completely broke away from the Maroons en-route to a victory.
It seems like the Maroons’ plan was to hold down Bobby Ray Parks Jr. by any means possible. But, Parks was just too quick and strong for the Maroons as the 6’3” shooting guard/forward obtained most of his points from the free-throw line, converting 14 of his 16 attempts. Over-all he was the highest scorer in the entire game with 18 points along with nine rebounds and six assists. Also, NU’s main point guard, Gelo Alolino who we have not seen perform well in the past games finally broke through with 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Reviewing the Keys to the Game
Starting the game aggressive, the Bulldogs scored 21 points in the first quarter only to relax in the next two with UP climbing back with 16-18 & 18-14 quarters respectively. Unlike the last few games though, NU definitely finished the game strong, using their 14 rebounds in the last quarter to fuel their game clinching lead.
Translate Opponent’s Turnovers
Both the Bulldogs and the Maroons had 16 turnovers each but National-U couldn’t convert those turnovers into points. They only had 11 points out of UP’s turnovers while their opponent managed to get 19 out of those 16 turnovers. Thankfully for NU, the Maroon’s collapse in the final frame was more than enough to make up for this.
Keep an Eye on Marata
Joseph Marata was definitely the only light for UP. He had 14 points,with six of those came from beyond the arc. It was those treys that kept UP afloat and allowed them to stick close to NU. He also added three rebounds and two assists in a losing effort. All in all, it was a good day for NU’s defense on him since he made just four out of 16 attempts from the field.
There were three factors that led to NU’s win against UP. First was their field goal percentage (37.5%) which was better than the Maroons’ (33.3%). Not an overly good shooting game from the Bulldogs, but it was enough it this game.
Second was their good defense on UP’s scorer – Kyles Lao only had 11 points and Marata shot horribly from the field.
Lastly, would be the Bulldogs’ work on the boards. The squad from Sampaloc out-rebounded the team from Diliman, 47-43, with 14 of those coming in the crucial final frame.