The National University Bulldogs, one of the pre-season favorites to win it all this season, have struggled to find their offensive touch. In their two losses, the Bulldogs crumbled in the final frame as no one wanted to take the shot.
Having watched his former squad for the first time this season, former King Bulldog Troy Rosario sees that this batch of Bulldogs have the same fire and determination they had back then.
“Yung similarity is yung eagerness nila manalo tsaka yung composure,” Rosario said after NU defeated the University of Santo Tomas, 75-68. “Up sila ng 20 plus kanina, nahabol, pero at the end of the game nakuha pa rin nila yung panalo.”
However, the 24-year-old big man believes that Alfred Aroga is struggling with his new role with the team. After losing Gelo Alolino, Kyle Neypes, and Paolo Javellona to graduation, Aroga is currently the oldest veteran player the team has in their line-up.
“Sa tingin ko nag-aadjust siya kasi siya na lang naiwan na beterano dun,” Rosario – who was watching the game together with Jeff Javillonar, Tristan Perez, and Denice Villamor – said about his frontcourt partner during NU’s magical run back in the 77th Season of the UAAP. “Siya na yung pinakamatanda sa kanila. Sa tingin ko gusto niya i-involve yung teammates niya kaya siya nag-strastruggle.”
“Kilala ko si Alfred, gagawin niya ang lahat para makatulong sa teammates niya.”
Furthermore, Aroga’s substitute Matthew Aquino has only played three games after being declared ineligible to start the season. The 19-year-old is still figuring out coach Eric Altamirano’s system, Rosario added.
“First time ko siyang nakita maglaro,” the second pick in the 2015 PBA Draft added. “Sa tingin ko nag-aadjust pa siya sa sistema lalo na galing pa siya sa ibang sistema.”
“Dadating din yung laro niya.”
Even with this, Rosario believes that once they get their bearings, the Bulldogs will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
“Mahaba pa yung season e. Hindi pa natatapos yung first round,” the NU legend pointed out.
“Kung tuloy-tuloy yung pag-improve ng bawat isa, aabot sila sa Final Four.”