Two years ago, with their flickering final four hopes at stake, the National University (NU) Bulldogs showed the DLSU Green Archers the exit door by ekeing out a close win that snuffed out the Green-and-White Squad’s slim chances of making the semifinals.
Two years later, they did the same thing, only this time, the margin was bigger and the win, more glaring. Suffocated by the stifling zone defense of the Bulldogs, the Green Archers mustered only a solitary point, a free throw by point guard Almond Vosotros, in the last seven minutes of the match, to receive a drubbing from the Sampaloc-based squad, 40-56, last Sept. 8 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The loss officially booted the Archers out of contention from the Final Four race as they reeled from their eighth setback of what has been a tumultuous second round for them, giving the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers a free passage into the semis.
After taking a slim 35-32 lead entering the final period, it appeared that the Archers would be able to duplicate their rousing victory over the UP Fighting Maroons in their previous game, after being down throughout most of the game against the Bulldogs, who have been previously booted out of contention for the final four after being whitewashed by the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Vosotros, after a stellar 15-point first half, could only muster a point in the second half, which was also the lone point of the entire squad for the game’s final seven minutes. No other Archer finished in double figures as the squad missed the final four for the second time in three years.
MVP shoo-in Bobby Ray Parks led the Bulldogs with 25 points, while teammates KYle Neypes provided the late-game spark that proved too much for the Green-and-White Squad.