The Green Archers (5-5) are within striking distance of the number two spot in the standings and will look to keep it that way as they face FEU (5-6) this afternoon. Coming off last Wednesday’s hard-earned win over UE, the team is currently in solo fourth but are just a half a game behind UST (6-5) and one game behind UP (6-4).
The last time they faced each other. The Green Archers lost 55-66 in a game in which FEU’s foreign center had his most impressive game so far this season. Jamie Malonzo was the only Archer who scored more than 10 points.
What to Watch For
Archers in Sick Bay. Several Green Archers were experiencing flu-like symptoms since last Monday. Starters such as Justine Baltazar, Andrei Caracut and Aljun Melecio still managed to play against UST despite their condition. In addition Kurt Lojera, Tyrus Hill, Keys Meeker and James Laput were sidelined due to injuries. We expect that most of them have already fully recovered and are fit to play today.
Closing out on Shooters. FEU has no shortage of firepower from the outside. LJ Gonzales, Wendel Comboy, Hubert Cani, Ken Tuffin and Xyrus Torres will require a lot of defensive attention on the perimeter. The Tamaraws have been playing well offensively in their last three games which have led to victories over a couple of highly-ranked teams.
Controlling the Glass. La Salle currently leads the league in rebounding with an average of 50.8 per game. FEU meanwhile is in the middle of the pack with 46.5 per game. Despite having a thinner frontline, the Tamaraws outrebounded the Green Archers 53-47 in their first round encounter. FEU also had 12 second-chance points as compared to 4 by La Salle. The team that can win the battle on the offensive boards will likely have an advantage in this game.
The Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Tamaraws. FEU has been the embodiment of inconsistency all season long. One game they seem to be dead in the water and the next they seem like a legit title contender. But you got to admit, they have been playing well lately, beating the likes of UP, UST and were a good offensive 2nd half away from giving Ateneo its first L last Wednesday. So what version of them will we see today? Regardless, the Green Archers need to be ready and bring their A game because they can’t afford to blink in this already tight race for semis positioning.