The Green Archers had an inauspicious start in their first game under the new coaching regime, falling to NCAA champions San Beda, 63-69 at the start of the Fil-Oil tournament.
After training a few months away from the spotlight, many supporters were understandably curious about how the team would perform with a new system. Today, it was apparent that the new system had not yet taken root, as seen in the ragged stretches in the middle quarters which San Beda took full advantage of to build their lead up to 15 points.
Unfortunately, it seems that unlearning the lessons of the past may take a bit of doing. Nowhere was this more evident than in the first quarter, where the Archers scored the first 6 points of the game, then yielded the initiative to the more experienced Red Lions. Perhaps the lack of competitive activity has made our players a bit rusty, because they were a step slow both on offense as well as defense.
On offense, our guards were uncharacteristically tentative, and the off-ball movement was not effective, resulting in stalled offensives some individualistic plays in the first half under shot clock pressure. The shooting touch wasn’t there either, as the team only hit 33% of 2 point attempts and 27% on treys. With that kind of accuracy, all San Beda had to do was clog the lanes and let us fire away from afar. Our passing wasn’t as crisp, reflecting some uncertainty and unfamiliarity with the system. On defense, the team failed to contain the Red Lion pick-and-roll, and we couldn’t keep the SBC bigs away from the paint. Only during the last few minutes when the team mounted that last-ditch rally did the intensity kick up.
To be fair, San Beda is the reigning NCAA champion, and this team has been playing together under one system for the last few years. Their imports, Armon and Adegun, proved to be a handful, and their guards were pesky on defense and very active on offense. Overall, San Beda’s teamwork was impressive.
On the upside, Teng and Tallo put in a good account of themselves in their first official game, and Yutien returned from knee surgery. Webb showed the aggressiveness of old, and Jovet was aggressive on offense in the paint. Our guards Revilla, Vosotros, dela Paz, and Tampus played below their usual effective level, and they will definitely pick up in the next games. Andrada will shake off his rust, Torres and Paredes will be able to fully utilize their height and length, and the teamwork will emerge as the players get used to the new setup and each other.
There are no instant solutions to seeming lack of cohesion with the team until the UAAP lineup is finalized. Until then, the coaches will do a lot of tinkering to find out who fits best under their scheme. Installing a new system takes a bit of time, and unfortunately, there are only 3 months before the new season comes around. Still, the focus on the basics will pay off. The coaches continue to evaluate players as they look to finalize our lineup in a couple of months. We’ll see more o f the aspirants as our team swings into action in the Father Martin’s Cup with a slightly different lineup. But who knows, we may still see a surprise or two before the UAAP season.
SBC 69 – Caram 15, Armon 11, Adeogun 10, Koga 8, Dela Rosa 7, Dela Cruz 5, Lim 5, Pascual J 4 Pascual K 2, Ludovice 2, Amer 0, Mendoza 0, Moralde 0
DLSU 63 – Torres N 12, Teng 8, Mendoza 8, Dela Paz 6, Webb 6, Andrada 6, Revilla 5, Paredes 4, Vosotros 3, Tallo 3, Tampus 2, Gotladera 0, Torres T 0, Reyes M 1
Quarter Scores: 13-6;31-22;49-34;69-63