Coach Eric Altamirano started the game with his rookie JJ Alejandro on shooting guard, Gelo Alolino, Jeoff Javillonar and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. playing forward positions and Emmanuel Mbe as center. Usual shooting guard/forward, Dennice Villamor comes off the bench for the Blue and Gold.

The Story

NU Bulldogs

In the first quarter, the FEU Tamaraws had quickly overpowered the Bulldogs getting six treys in; two of them coming from Terrence Romeo. On the other side of the court, it was very quiet apart from Parks’ three. NU only scored 16 points and most of them were from free throws. They shot 100% from the line but only made three field goals out of 16 attempts.

Villamor started out the second quarter with a missed three-pointer while Robin Roño had a steal. Pogoy from FEU turned the ball over that lead to a Glenn Khonbuntin basket from a Villamor assist. At the 7:36 mark of the quarter, Roño made a three-pointer. This was the second three-point make by the Bulldogs but the Tamaraws quickly recovered. The Tamaraws made another 3-pointer from Romeo and another after Parks missed his field goal attempt. NU shot 35.7 FG%, it was definitely better than their last quarter. Both teams had nine rebounds.

Immediately after the half, RR Garcia made a quick three-pointer then NU fell silent for a while. Javillonar made a three-pointer that was quickly retaliated by a trey by Mike Tolomia. Christian Sentchu had a block that lead to another basket from beyond the arc by Romeo. Parks answered with a two-pointer. After the round, NU had 12 points while FEU had 23. The biggest difference was their quarter rebounding; Tamaraws had 15 while the Bulldogs only had nine.

In the last canto, Garcia missed a three-point attempt that lead to a defensive rebound and a basket by Villamor. This was followed by Mbe’s own basket after Romeo missed an attempt from the outside. Gryann Mendoza swished a three from a Mark Belo assist but NU quickly recovered with their own three by Roño off an assist from Alolino. Another three came from the FEU side by Romeo off an assist from Mendoza. Khonbuntin missed an attempt; Belo turns the ball over that lead to a foul by Mendoza giving Parks a chance to cut the FEU’s lead to 16 via free throws. Another FEU player, Carl Cruz contributed a 3-pointer after Parks had a turnover. Mbe converted a two pointer in an NU sequence that included three offensive rebounds. Khonbuntin fouled Tolomia that lead to two free throws only to be both missed by the latter. Parks put in a basket after Cruz made two free throws from another foul by Khonbuntin. Mbe had a steal only to be fouled by Anthony Hargrove. NU’s starting center splits his charities.

In the 3:51 mark of the last quarter, Javillonar stole the ball from Sentchu that lead to a foul and two free throws for Parks. In a different sequence, Mbe made a two-point attempt after FEU’s Belo turned the ball over.  NU Bulldogs’ star player, Parks ended an NU sequence with a basket to cut the lead, 76-82. With 44 seconds left in the last quarter, Parks contributed another two points from the free throw line. Romeo missed a three but quickly recovered to convert a basket to extend the lead but Javillonar scored a basket as well, 80-84. Garcia splits his free throws from a foul by Alolino. NU tried to inch closer to the Tamaraws by a three-pointer by Roño, and quickly fouled Romeo but the FEU star clamly sank two free throws. Parks last attempt and miss ended the game, 83-87.

Reviewing the Keys to the Game

No R & R for RR and R

Unfortunately, at the very start of the game, Romeo had other things in mind. He started out the scoring with a triple. This had definitely set the tone for the Tamaraws in the entire game. Garcia had two treys while Romeo had six converted triples out of 10 attempts. They were 40% and 60% from beyond the arc, respectively. Last season, National-U held down FEU to only six converted treys in their rematch because of Ajeet Singh’s lock down defense on Romeo. Now, without Singh, they have to learn of other ways to stop the 5’10” shooting guard.

NU Bulldogs

NU Bulldogs

Roño’s triples couldn’t get NU above water. (Photo Credit: Rappler.com)

 

Get it back

It was more apparent in this game than most that the NU Bulldogs were out-rebounding their opponents. They acquired 49 rebounds; 24 of them were offensive rebounds. The Tamaraws had a bit less with 41 and only had 16 offensive rebounds. National-U also had more second chance points, 26 against FEU’S 19.

Finding Offense

This is the part where most of NU’s problem came from. They had horrible shooting in this game; only swishing 25 baskets out of 75 attempts—that’s 33.3%. It was bad especially when their opponents were shooting lights out. FEU had 71 attempts, getting in 30 of them. The NU highest scorers, Mbe and Parks had 27 and 26 points respectively. Mbe working double time on rebounds with 17; 12 were offensive. While FEU were splashing triples after triples, it was extreme drought on the other side. NU only converting 5 treys while FEU had an abundance of 15. Meaning, half of FEU’s score was from beyond the arc. Although the Bulldogs out-scored the Tamaraws in the last quarter, 35-19, it was an attempt a little too late.

Final Thoughts

Just when the NU Bulldogs were doing better on getting rebounds, they struggled on the offensive end. Other teams are doing well on putting down defense of Parks so the team must find a way to work around this. If you’re an NU fan, you must have been dying to see Villamor, Javillonar and Troy Rosario contribute offensively. I know I was.