By Karl Batungbacal
UE Red Warriors def. NU Bulldogs
Who Impressed: UE avoids the bottom of the standings behind Alex Diakhite’s double-double outing, 22 points and 13 rebounds. The big man was able to shutdown Issa Gaye for the majority of the game which forced other NU players to take the brunt of the offense.
How did the game go: Disappointing for NU, surely. After handily beating the FEU Tamaraws, fans were expecting a semblance of consistency in this game by adding another victory to what has already been a topsy-turvy season for the Bulldogs. Once they fell to an early 18-12 hole in the first quarter, there was little chance of them coming back as the Red Warriors hit multiple threes which served to kill any budding momentum the Bulldogs were about to have. Phillip Manalang scored early on and drew most of the attention on offense which allowed guys like Nick Abanto and Jose Antiporda to contribute often.
What to look forward to: For the Bulldogs, something has to change. Whether it be better game planning, conditioning, or less dependency on the Ildefonso brothers, it has to happen and quick. They have more or less 5 days of rest until they face DLSU, which is slowly picking up steam after a slow start.
For the Red Warriors, getting a quality win against such a talented team is exactly what they need in order to better establish themselves in the future seasons. They are aware that any Final Four aspirations will have to wait for the future as the UAAP is just too top-heavy this time around. They’ll be facing the struggling Soaring Falcons on Saturday, a matchup that can go either way.