The Games that Play Us: Muzzled

Jeoff Javillonar and the Bulldogs were
effectively muzzled by La Salle.
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DLSU Green Archers over the NU Bulldogs, 74-63

Not a few people ranked the NU Bulldogs a shade above La Salle before Season 74 began. NU, after all, had won 2 non-UAAP titles in their present incarnation and had beaten a host of contenders over the summer. They had Ray Parks to complement Emmanuel Mbe. They had some promising newcomers – rookies and transferees. They had a tried-and-tested coach. It seems like the Sys took a by-the-numbers approach to winning a collegiate title and put all the ingredients together. Add a little water, wait for 3 minutes, then add the spices and sauce and there you go – UAAP title contender Yakisoba style.

But if history has shown us one clear thing, it’s that winning a title in the UAAP is never as easy as winning the battle of recruitment, rosters or even the boardroom. It’s about winning the battle on the floor, and, so far, the Bulldogs have been weighed, measure, and been found wanting.

Ray Parks continues to struggle in his first season in the UAAP.
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Here’ a shot at trying to see the silver lining. Perhaps these Bulldogs are of a good breed. Perhaps they came with papers and all the necessary “marks” (as well-bred dogs are wont to posses). Now they have a good trainer, a good kennel, and are getting good feeds (is that what it’s called?) by way of experience. Perhaps after this season, or as soon as after a few more games, the Sampaloc-based mutts can actually play foils to the higher-seeded squads. For now, however, they’re nothing more than muzzled hounds with loud barks. And against the on-target Adamson Falcons on Sunday? Ayayayayay.

As for the Archers? Is anyone really surprised they beat NU? By-and-large La Salle is the better team here, and they proved it with this resounding win. The key? Coach Dindo Pumaren played just 12 men. No Gotladera, no Sara, and no Paredes. Some broken promises there, perhaps, but they won and that’s the biggest thing anyway. They’re hurtling towards a luckless UE five on Sunday, so we can book the Archers for a 3rd win in a row.

LA Revilla proved again why he's the top PG in the UAAP.
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DLSU 74 – Revilla 19, Marata 12, Van Opstal 10, Tampus 10, Villanueva 9, de la Paz 6, Vosotros 2, Webb 2, Mendoza 2, Torres 1, Andrada 1, Atkins 0
NU 63 – Khobuntin 21, Parks 13, Ignacio 7, Villamor 6, Mbe 6, Alolino 3, Magat 3, Celiz 2, Terso 2, Eman 0, Javillonar 0, Singh 0
QS: 30-15, 59-36, 61-49, 74-63

Arnold Van Opstal had another strong offensive game for DLSU.
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Glenn Khobuntin carried the losing effort for NU.
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Jarelan Tampus stopped the DLSU drought
in the 2nd half.
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