After two disappointing losses early in the season, the Green Archers notched back-to-back wins to put themselves back in contention.
Yes, those wins were against the bottom teams. Yes, those wins were not really as convincing as one might wish it to be. And yes, we still see the team struggling in many facets of their game such as defense, turnovers, maintaining big leads and free throws. But beyond the stat sheet, we saw a lot of positives in these two wins.
We saw what Josh Torralba can do not only offensively but also on defense. We saw Julian Sargent’s versatility on both ends and the intangibles that he brings to the team. We saw an improvement in Thomas Torres’ confidence. We saw Renzo Navarro showing the steadiness of a veteran point guard. We saw Larry Muyang’s potential to be a force in the middle. Lastly, we saw Andrei Caracut making a case for the top rookie honors.
Of course, things will still revolve around Jeron Teng for the Green Archers. This is still a team that will go as far as where Jeron takes them. But we all know that one player can’t do it all that is why it is important for the rest of players to step up as well.
UST is coming off a confidence-boosting win over Ateneo last Saturday. Behind the torrid shooting of Kevin Ferrer, the Growling Tigers erased a 16-point deficit as they outscored the Blue Eagles 26-6 in the final period. Out of the final four scene a season ago, UST is surprising many with their hot start which includes beating title-favorite FEU.
The Green Archers’ resolve will be tested in this game. It will be interesting to see how they will put the clamps on Ferrer and Daquioag and how our bigs will make it difficult for Karim Abdul to do damage inside the paint.
La Salle will be facing two tough teams to close out the first round. As good as those last two wins are, it would take a lot more grit and energy to beat their succeeding opponents.
It is good that we see improvement individually but it is the collective improvement that will take them to the next level.