The Green Archers aim for their second win in as many games as they face the NU Bulldogs. Last year, La Salle won its first round encounter with NU but come the second, it was the latter that administered the fatal blow to the Archers’ final four hopes. Well that’s history now and this season promises a more intense match-up between these two squads.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 54-60 loss to Adamson in their initial outing. Despite the defeat, NU showed that they can compete with a team that is billed to be among the favorites this season.
The Green Archers will not only have to contend with NU’s size but also their pesky backcourt. Emmanuel Mbe, their 6’7 Cameroonian rookie solidifies the Bulldogs’ strength in the paint along with sturdy veterans Mervin Baloran and Jewel Ponferrada. Ferdinand, Jovet, Maui and Yutien need to capitalize on their ability to run the floor if they want to gain the upper hand in this match-up. Simon, Joshua, Joseph and the rest of our backcourt will have their hands full against the scrappy NU guards like Joseph Terso, Jerome Tungcul, Ajeet Singh and Cocoy Hermosisima.
The streaky Hermosisima was the Bulldogs’ leading scorer last year with 13.3 points per game along with a 29% clip from beyond the arc. He may not be that fast for a guard but his all-around toughness and veteran smarts creates mismatches for himself. The Green Archers need to put the clamps on him and limit his production. Doing this would rattle NU’s offense which in most cases, starts with him.
The Archers got off to their best season start in three years last Saturday. They should continue to play with the same intensity every game. NU remains a dangerous team especially in a close match so La Salle needs to put them away right from the start.