Posted Oct 18th 2014
By the Numbers: Game 2
By Paolo Mariano Posted Oct 13th 2014
Game 2 wasn’t as exciting as the series opener but the important thing is that Far Eastern University (FEU) and National University (NU) have extended their skirmish to a do-or-die Game 3—and that looms to be a thriller. The Bulldogs, like they’ve done all season, earned a new lease on life thru dedicated defense and that will be their battle-cry in the winner-take-all. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, have enough firepower to shoot the lights out. Everything has been said and analyzed. Now, it all boils down to a battle of sheer desire. What a fitting end to what has been another pulsating UAAP men’s basketball season.
The number of people who watched at the Araneta Coliseum—the most for a single basketball game in the history of the venue. Who said FEU and NU can’t drum up a huge crowd? The attendance broke the previous record of 24,883 set in Game 7 of the Finals between Brgy. Ginebra and San Mig Coffee last February. Last season, Game 3 of the UAAP Finals attracted 23,305 spectators at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The number of points scored by FEU—the lowest in the Finals since the UAAP used computer-based statistics in 2003. It’s a far cry from the Tamaraws’ 74.4 average in the eliminations. They were bothered by NU’s scrambling defense, resulting to an anemic 27.8% clip from the field, also their lowest this season. FEU’s 47 points eclipsed its own record of 49 markers in Game 1 of the 2010 Finals versus Ateneo de Manila University.
The number of offensive rebounds grabbed by NU—the most by any team this season. What a time for the Bulldogs to relentlessly crash the boards. Those offensive caroms resulted to 16 second chance points. NU’s winning margin? Fifteen points. Giving up 27 possessions was simply unforgivable for FEU. Seven players finished with at least an offensive rebound for the Sampaloc-based squad, led by the nine of Troy Rosario and the five of Alfred Aroga.
The number of times the winner of Game 1 eventually went on to capture the UAAP title. That’s a 75% winning percentage since the best-of-three format was instituted in 1994. Clearly, the odds are in favor of FEU. But NU can also draw inspiration just from last season when De La Salle University claimed the coveted trophy despite bowing to University of Santo Tomas in Game 1 after Karim Abdul blocked LA Revilla’s last-second lay-up.
The record of NU in do-or-die games this season. Speaking of odds, the Bulldogs also have one in their pocket. They haven't dropped a winner-take-all match, winning over University of the East in the playoff, escaping Ateneo in two games in the Final Four, and extending the Finals to a Game 3 after last Wednesday’s victory. Couple that with their winning record at the Big Dome, things are also looking solid for the Bulldogs.