Amid 0-2 start, Bulldogs left looking for championship identity
Defending champions National University Bulldogs found themselves in a 0-2 hole to start Season 78.
Bulldogs head coach Eric Altamirano said they haven’t found the identity they once had in Season 77 when they were balling like Cinderella.
“There’s so many factors to consider, one is the exit of Troy Rosario, we’re a young team, we just have to continue finding our identity,” Altamirano said Saturday as his Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaker against University of the East, 76-71, at Mall of Asia Arena.
Greatly affected by Rosario’s exit is his frontcourt partner Alfred Aroga who Altamirano said looks lost in the court.
Aroga finished with eight points and 16 rebounds but had episodes where he forced the issue on offense.
Something Altamirano said his big man should veer away from.
“Alfred, his finding his identity, he’s lost he just needs to focus on his strength,” Altamirano said. “He’s not an offensive player he’s more of a defensive force.”
“He needs to play to his strength and we too need to step up.”
A glaring mark of the Bulldogs’ confusion is their 31 turnovers, a stat their captain Gelo Alolino wants nothing of.
“I’m speechless, we lost. We didn’t impose our defense plus we need to protect the ball more.”
Still Alolino said they are ready to adjust to whatever circumstance they are put in.
“We’re positive we can adjust,” Alolino said. “We’re positive but [the 0-2] is not accepted.”
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