For the Green Archers, expect the road to back-to-back titles to get even tougher from hereon.

The team needs to realize that they are no longer the same dominant juggernaut they were a year ago. Opponents have somehow managed to learn how to keep in step with them. They can’t just flip the switch at any time and expect to win. Yes, last Sunday’s loss was a result of bad breaks towards the end but seriously, had they played with the same energy they showed in the second half right from the start, they wouldn’t even had to be in a position to make a critical inbound pass to protect a one-point lead.

This is not saying that La Salle is no longer the favorite to win the championship. In fact, they still are having hands-down the most talented roster in the league. But they can’t just rely on individual talent to win ballgames. After all that they have experienced in this first round, we are hopeful that the lessons learned will make them a much better team moving forward.

As much as that loss stings, it’s time to move on, and quick.

We’re glad the players remain in high spirits and are raring to bounce back. That’s good since they only have a couple of days to prepare for their next game.

FEU (4-3) is also coming off a loss in their last outing and is also expected to be motivated to get a win here to avoid a possible 3-team battle for the fourth slot in the standings. They will have to do it though without Arvin Tolentino who will be reportedly serving a one-game suspension after being tossed out for two unsportsmanlike fouls in their game against Adamson.

The Green Archers managed to beat FEU 95-90 in their first round encounter even without Ben Mbala. The team is expected to be in full force tomorrow with the return of Aljun Melecio from sickbay.

Always expect an intense and hard-fought battle when these two squads go head on. Though their round one meeting had no untoward incidents, this might not be the case tomorrow. The Tamaraws will definitely play with a lot more aggressiveness and desperation as they want to avoid falling deeper in the standings.

Regardless of who they are up against, the Green Archers must always start strong. In most of their won games, they tend to slack off towards the end after building a sizable lead enabling their opponent to catch up. Though we want the team to maintain the same level of play for 40 minutes, it’s better to catch fire right from the get go. It would be a better scenario if any in-game adjustments will be intended to protect the lead rather than play catch-up.

It may just be the start of the second round but this is already a must-win game for the Green Archers. Currently sharing second with Adamson at 5-2, a loss will pull them down to a tie for third with the Tamaraws. With the Fighting Maroons and Falcons as their next two opponents, the team needs to step up and start the next stage of the season on a high note.

No time to dwell on the what-could-have-beens. How the Green Archers will recover and respond will define their determination and desire to defend their championship.

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