After the dust had settled following the emotionally, physically and mentally draining enigma of the 11-day biennial FIBA Asia Championship, the college wars are about to take the limelight once more.
Currently sporting a 3-4 record, Coach Juno Sauler and the Green Archers will bring out their razor sharp arrows once again as they aim to start the second round on a high note in their bout against the Adamson Soaring Falcons tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A game of controversies
In their last encounter at the Big Dome last July 4, the Green Archers were able to outlast the Falcons via clutch free throws from Jeron Teng and Norbert Torres en route to a slim 70 – 67 victory.
Norbert led the Archers with 13 points and 5 rebounds while Jason Perkins had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. In addition, Teng added 12 points, also making all of his 4 freebies and 8 rebounds.
For the Falcons, Celedonio Trollano had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Jericho Cruz tallied in 13 markers.
But the thing that stood out in this game was the very controversial unsportsmanlike foul whistled on Gian Abrigo during the last minutes of regulation which definitely swayed the momentum in favor of La Salle.
Expect a better endgame result this time around. No controversies. Just pure basketball.
Containing the giants
In their earlier encounter, La Salle’s frontline tactics effectively neutralized Adamson’s burly center in Ingrid Sewa and their other big man in Rodney Brondial as the duo combined for only 13 points. On the other hand, Arnold Van Opstal and Torres convincingly outwitted them after finishing the game with a combined 23 points and 9 rebounds.
Averaging almost 10 points and 10 rebounds per contests, La Salle was able to contain Sewa’s dominance in the paint by setting up double teams and making the consistent effort to sag him in the perimeter. The Archers were also successful in making life tough for Brondial by locking him down in the perimeter which usually resulted into forced jumpshots.
If La Salle continues to push them out in their comfort zones, it would be a tough day for the Falcons.
Dictating the tempo
Playing at a faster pace this season, it is important for the Archers to play smart and efficient basketball throughout the game.
A typical La Salle offensive usually involves effective ball movements which often creates an inside-outside scoring threat if executed to perfection. One wrong read from the opposition would lead either to a three-pointer from the guard or an easy shot from the paint since some defences tend to collapse on one player.
La Salle must also share the ball more effectively this time around in order for them to open more scoring opportunities especially from their sharpshooters. With their guard cadets of Almond Vosotros, LA Revilla, and Thomas Torres, ball movement will be smooth and effective as long as they cut down their turnovers.
Show the Animo and the heart to win
Setting all the figures aside, perhaps the most crucial aspect for this win is our willingness to notch it. The players are sometimes lethargic which also causes a chain reaction to the crowd.
If the more exhausted and physically battered studs from our Gilas Pilipinas squad were able to defeat their opponents with relentless heart and desire in winning their games, then the Archers could also emulate the same thing and could even surpass it.
Another round of the UAAP basketball frenzy awaits everyone. The road gets tougher, but tough times reveal the true character of the team.