Friday, September 2, 2011


What happened before:
The Ateneo Blue Eagles went out and played team ball, getting turnovers and running the break to drub the NU Bulldogs 86-62 in their third game of the season. Tight Ateneo defense held Bobby Ray Parks to just 20 points, three at halftime, eight at the end of three quarters, as Parks only got going against the third stringers. That alone won them the game, as Emmanuel Mbe and Gelo Alolino could not carry the Bulldogs on their own, though they did try. Mbe scored 10 straight to make it 21-17, Ateneo, but he hit foul trouble early and had to be sat down, allowing the Eagles to romp away for a 38-20 halftime lead. Alolino on the other hand, got a four point play in the third period but that only got the Eagles fired up as they closed the period with four triples of their own. (Recap here)

What's at Stake:
  • At 4-7, the NU Bulldogs need to sweep their remaining three games and hope UST loses all of their remaining assignments to force a playoff for the fourth spot. NU's also going to be looking for some payback after Ateneo smashed them in the first round, and if they can deny the Blue Eagles a sweep at the same time, then why not?
  • After defeating the UP Fighting Maroons, the Ateneo Blue Eagles are now 12-0, two games away from a first round sweep. Should they fail to sweep though, it won't affect Ateneo, as they've already clinched the top seed.

NU Stat to Watch : Indicators that NU's winning a game? At least for the second round, it's been more turnover points (18.5 in wins, 11.5 in losses) and points in the paint (20 in wins, 14.5 in losses). If they can outscore Ateneo in those two areas they may have a chance at pulling out an upset.
NU Player to Watch : After many people hyped their first round encounter as Bobby Ray Parks versus Kiefer Ravena, Parks met Kirk Long's defense head-on and...crumbled, as he scored just three points at the half, and eight total before Long got to sit out the fourth period. No doubt, he'll look to bounce back after this game, with the added sweetener that a win would go a long way in improving his chances of winning MVP.

ADMU Stat to Watch : Post-DLSU games are always tough for Ateneo, and that was clearly seen here as the Blue Eagles shot their worst percentage from the stripe, 17 of 27 (62.96 percent) and had their most turnovers, 22, since the first DLSU game. If they're going to beat NU, they simply cannot afford to play that sloppily.
ADMU Player to Watch : Justin Chua could not contain Emmanuel Mbe in their first round encounter, but the fourth year center has grown by leaps and bounds since then, regaining the confidence he seemingly did not have early in the season. Together with Greg Slaughter, if the two can get Mbe into foul trouble early, that will create huge problems for NU, and it's something they ought to take advantage of if the opportunity presents itself.

Prediction: ADMU Blue Eagles

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