Wednesday’s game had all the hype of a prize fight. Aldin Ayo going up against his former team. Fireworks, physical play, grudges fueling the match, were some of the speculative articles I’ve come across with.
Speculation was supposed to be a reality when we saw the UST players donning t-shirts bearing Ayo’s name and the number 4, which turned out later to be his playing number in Letran, and also a pun dedicating the game FOR Ayo.
However, the first indication of a potential dud of a game was when I observed that UST import Steve Akomo, was not part of the round robin roster of UST.
I immediately surmised that our inside game would be superior to theirs, primarily with Justin Baltazar, Santi Santillan, Mark Dyke, and Brandon Bates.
UST’s roster and patterns for the guards would obviously be similar to ours. Point guards were actually shooting guards in Renzo Subido and Marvin Lee. We had Aljun Melecio, and Andrei Caracut to match up with them.
However, we also had Jollo Go and Encho Serrano to rotate for them. UST had squat.
Then, in the absence of Akomo, we had a huge advantage up front. True, they had some mobile big men who caused some problems initially, but eventually tired out and were really overmatched.
Thus, we had the advantage of flexibility. We could play deliberate, and we could run, with the same effectivity. Look at the box scores. Six players in double figures. We mixed up our offense.
Defense was also relatively a full court press, with the idea of tiring out their guards and delaying the offense. The result was a UST three point shootfest of their guards and no inside offense.
Let’s not butter this one up. It was an easy game to coach and execute.
Honestly, it took me this long to ponder on what to write about in this game. Don’t get me wrong here. Any win is a good win, and any win is a good game. We executed the game plan to perfection.
But as in a prize fight, were we toughened up in this game before facing a heavyweight in Ateneo this Saturday? Was the sparring adequate? Will we be sharp on Saturday?
The only toughening up situation that I saw was Encho Serrano getting his fourth foul early, sitting it out distraught on the bench, and later on being part of the 6 man double digit scoring parade anyway.
The fireworks never lit because UST shot threes almost exclusively and not even Zamora, their left handed three point specialist, clicked as he was checked by our defense.
There was a post that asked for the communities thoughts before and regarding the Ateneo game.
Two questions to answer: Did we need the scrimmage, or did we need a tough game? One argument says we were well rested before facing them, while the other says we skipped a spar day.
Let me say this. Your opinions and suggestions are valid either way. What will prove one is right or wrong may be interpreted only after the results of Saturday’s game.
Good or bad game with UST? My take? Hahahaha. This is a La Salle-Ateneo game. C’mon. Stop analyzing!!!!! Throw everything out the window, including this dumb article. What only matters to us is this: BEAT ATENEO. ANIMO LA SALLE!!!!! Nuff said.