These two teams traded runs back and forth early in the game, but La Salle seemingly made one that even NU would have a hard time dealing with, dropping a 16-2 bomb in the middle of the second period that put the Bulldogs down 59-36 at the halftime break. But after NU head coach Eric Altamirano was forced to sit Emmanuel Mbe and Bobby Ray Parks due to foul trouble, the Archers suddenly hit a wall, finishing the third period with a mere two points. The drought continued three minutes into the fourth, as NU baskets towed them to within seven points, 61-54, but by then the Archers finally roused, and coupled with the ineffectiveness of a returning Parks, the Bulldogs bowed out of this one, 74-63 (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- This is out of the De La Salle Green Archers' hands, as their 5-7 record merely means that any further loss in their remaining two encounters or just one more UST loss equals an early vacation for their centennial team.
- The NU Bulldogs were unceremoniously dumped by the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles last Saturday, held to a piddling 39 points and eliminated from postseason play. All that's left for NU is to try to position Parks as the MVP, and possibly scoring an upset or two.
DLSU Player to Watch : The turnover prone NU Bulldogs have the leading swiper standing against them in this game, LA Revilla (1.8 a game). In their first meeting, Revilla made a career-high six steals, which the Archers easily converted into points. While his minutes have experienced a severe downtick since then, he'll still have plenty of opportunities against the likes of Gelo Alolino and Joseph Terso.
NU Player to Watch : Floor-stretching forward Denice Villamor is so ridiculously hit or miss. He has four double-digit games, perhaps the most among the NU supporting cast, but he has an equal number of 0-point games. NU could use his shooting to draw a Papot Paredes or Norbert Torres to the outside, or force DLSU to shuffle back in Maui Villanueva, if you know, he actually connects on his attempts.
Prediction: NU Bulldogs