It is still very fresh in the mind of every Lasallian. It was a game that was up for grabs but luck wasn’t on our side as L.A Revilla’s potential game-winning layup was blocked by Karim Abdul as UST took a 1-0 lead last Wednesday in a jampacked Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In that heart-breaking game, Kevin Ferrer burned La Salle with 20 points and 6 rebounds while Karim Abdul added 19 points and 12 rebounds. In addition, Jeric Teng had 17 points and 17 rebounds.
For the Green Archers, Almond Vosotros led the Archers with 20 points and 2 rebounds while Jeron Teng added 15 points and 7 boards. Furthermore, Arnold Van Opstal added 13 markers and 1 block.
With a crucial game for tomorrow, here is my take on how La Salle should handle UST tomorrow.
La Salle’s cold start really affected their overall play since it paved way for UST to establish a strong momentum throughout the game.
La Salle got the wrong end of free throw dojo with the team connecting 14 out of 22 attempts while UST had a better outing as they connected 14 out of 19 attempts.
Staying out of foul trouble
One big glare for La Salle in that game was the two early fouls slapped on Arnold Van Opstal in the quarter. It was proven to be a big cut on our frontcourt rotation as Karim Abdul easily pummelled Norbert Torres in the paint. Jason Perkins is often dragged out to the perimeter due to his
Tighter perimeter defense
In Game 1, La Salle was outshot in the perimeter with Ferrer shooting 63 percent from the three after connecting five out of eight attempts. In addition, the Green Archers were a step slow in their defensive rotations which allowed UST to set up its perimeter attack.
Jeric Teng also got the best of Vosotros especially in the post since Almond doesn’t have the bulk to resist Jeric’s post game.
For La Salle to win this game, the Archers must stick to their UST counterparts like glue in order to halt their streaky momentum surges.
Control the boards
Being one of the elite teams when it comes to the rebounding department, the Archers failed to outhustle the Tigers in their Game One encounter with them holding a very slim 44-43 advantage.
Jason Perkins was our top rebounder as he amassed 11 boards while Revilla grabbed 8 of his own. Arnold Van Opstal had 5 rebounds.
If La Salle controls the rebounding game, it would open up a lot of second chance opportunities.
Dictating the tempo
Both teams have different styles of play.
La Salle is known for its balanced mix of pounding it inside and outside attacks while UST relies on its quickness and transition points since they have a versatile wingmen.
In addition, La Salle must take into mind that UST doesn’t have that bench depth unlike La Salle. I think the Green Archers must try to exhaust their opponent’s primary guns so that they could capitalize on their bench players.
Furthermore, the Archers big men must impose their will against the Tigers since they are having a hard time matching up with them with regards to their strength. In their elimination round encounters, the duo of Van Opstal and Norbert Torres showed their prowess down low which effectively neutralize the impact of Abdul the game. Perkins must also impose his will against his defenders, particularly Mariano and Ferrer, since they aren’t hefty enough to bang with Perkins down low.
All on the line
Setting all the analytical views aside, it all boils down on who wants it more. Whichever team that has the bigger heart will always have that extra edge in the game.
I think La Salle must show that poise and instinct that they had during their nine-game winning streak since it gives the necessary confidence and discipline that can intimidate the opponent.
No matter what happens, I believe that La Salle will play their hearts out tomorrow since their season is on the line. So, keep calm and Animo La Salle!