Last Wednesday was a good day to be a Red Warrior fan.

After losing in their last two outings, the Red Warriors emerged victorious against the five-time defending champions, Ateneo Blue Eagles. They played beautiful basketball today and it wasn’t at all a Roi Sumang show.

The Warriors started the game strong, quickly gaining a four-point lead courtesy of Noble and Casajeros. Their strong presence and activity inside the paint allowed them to maintain a lead of six, with six players already scoring their first basket. The Red Warriors weren’t really depending on Sumang to create the shots but instead, they did their roles and played as a team – something we haven’t seen consistently in this season.

The Blue Eagles were in a turnover party and the Red Warriors were able to capitalize on those turnovers, scoring 21 points from the Eagles’ turnovers. Juami Tiongson was on fire in his past two games, but this time, it wasn’t enough to bring home the bacon.

Reviewing Keys to the Game

Limit Newsome and Buenafe = Guard the paint

Well, there’s not much to do about Buenafe since he injured his ankle during the second quarter by accidentally stepping on Mammie’s foot landing from a jump. In the 12 minutes that he played, he was limited to four points (two from a fastbreak play). I guess you can technically say check here, just because he was out for most of the game.

As for Newsome, he had 10 points, 11 rebounds (four offensive) and one block. It wasn’t his usual numbers (15.8 points, 7.8 rebounds) and he was having a hard time driving to the lane, committing turnovers along the way.

Check mark for the Warriors on this one.

2. Exploit the lack for a big man
Mammie's explosive comeback, tallied 23 rebounds and 20 points! (Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports PH)

Mammie’s explosive comeback, tallied 23 rebounds and 20 points! (Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports PH)

And exploit they did! Mammie’s comeback definitely impacted the game in a big way. His rebounding splits are 26.9/25.2/26 (!!!); about a quarter of all rebounds goes to this guy, how crazy can he get? Golla and Erram couldn’t compete, with five and six rebounds respectively. Mammie is shaping up to be a deadly weapon (and not just a big guy) for the Warriors – he’s able to convert the offensive boards into points, starting to show some post moves and shooting jumpers.

In general, the Red Warriors were really just a taller team than the Blue Eagles. Aside from Mammie, Lord Casajeros and Ralf Olivarez registered six rebounds each.

One big fat check!

Start strong, then sustain

Looking at the Game Flow, it’s evident how the Warriors owned the ball game early on. It was a great effort from the Blue Eagles but every time they get close, the Warriors pulled away.

A very strong start for the Red Warriors; they held on until the end.

A very strong start for the Red Warriors; they held on until the end.

 This was due to the great efforts of different (read: not just Sumang) players from the UE roster – Mammie’s monstrous rebounding and 20 points and Dan Alberto’s fourteen-point production and active rebounding.

Another check mark!

Final Thoughts

It seems like Coach Zamar’s adjusted line-up is boding well for the team. Sumido’s minutes were taken by Dan Alberto who made sure it was worth it, Mammie started the game instead of coming off the bench and Javier played a measly eight minutes compared to his usual 18+ minutes. We’ll see if this line-up stays for the next game.