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Defending Alfred Aroga
by rick olivares pic by mark cristino
One of the UP Fighting Maroons’ objectives in its match against National University was to try and contain the Bulldogs’ Cameroonian center, Alfred Aroga.
The Maroons threw a variety of defensive coverages that confused Aroga rendering offensively inutile until the fourth period.
In NU’s very first possession, Aroga posted up Maroons big man Andrew Harris. Jett Manuel quickly doubled forcing Aroga to go out to the elbow where he missed a jumper.
In NU’s second possession, Aroga, after grabbing the defensive rebound took off leaving Harris behind. The latter’s UP teammate Mark Juruena gave chase and fouled Aroga who would make his two free throws. The Maroons would learn from Aroga’s trying to push that ball before UP’s defense was set.
For a quarter later and coincidentally NU’s second possession as well, Aroga drove inside. But he was met by a line of three defenders - Jarrell Lim, Cheick Kone, and Jerson Pardo. Aroga pulled up for a jumper that he missed. He didnt look confident taking that.
Back to the first quarter, during NU’s third possession, Aroga posted up once more — the third straight possession where he was given the ball to jumpstart his offense. Harris was on him and this time, Lim doubled coming from the free throw line. Dave Moralde snuck up from the blind side to poke the ball away.
Three different defensive coverages on the NU big man = two points.
After NU’s first eight possessions of the first period, the score was 4-3 in favor of the Bulldogs. Aroga went out for Raph Tansingco who played much better because UP didn’t know how to defend him (as he was a surprise package; although if they saw him in NU’s previous match they might have known what he could do).
During those first eight NU possessions, Aroga had three free throws, three defensive rebounds, and had picked up three fouls from UP defenders. He likewise defended two UP jumpers that didn’t hit the bottom. Offensively, he has difficulty but defensively, he was all right.
With Aroga largely a non-factor for the first three quarters, it was Gelo Alolino, Tansingco, Meds Salim, and Kyle Neypes who carried NU.
UP had problems on both ends of the court. Offensively, they struggled to get points. Defensively, if they concentrated on trying to stop Alolino, the other players hurt them. I’d say though that Alolino really spread that UP defense.
With UP’s defense in shambled come the fourth period, Aroga now made his move. He tallied 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block versus 1 turnover in the payoff quarter as NU took its second consecutive win and as many in five matches, 68-52.
Ateneo’s fate in the second match of the Saturday double header mirrored UP’s game versus NU — They stopped the opposing center for much of the game but they couldn’t handle the outside threat. Come the pay off period, the center gets going and that’s all she wrote.