On Wednesday, the Green Archers will try to accomplish what they did back in 2007. That is to say that beating a team twice whole season long is way meaningful than getting beat by the same team thrice in the same season. As we all know back in that championship run seven years ago, the Green Archers have defeated the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles only twice that season but it was all the “when it mattered most” games en route to that spectacular championship season by defeating the mighty University of the East Red Warriors, a team that I personally consider a PBA D-League team masquerading as a UAAP team that time.
I don’t know for certain if in between poring through the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche and Viktor Frankl, or getting giddy about film masterpieces such as Cinema Paradiso, Coach Juno Sauler has read Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball, wherein Isiah Thomas reveals the secret of basketball to be more than just about basketball.
For all of the adjustments on offense and defense: better player and ball movement, snappy execution of set plays, limiting one of the opponent’s top player and taking better care of the ball, it was the intangibles that allowed the DLSU Green Archers to finally get back at their season tormentors, the FEU Tamaraws.
While the Green Archers’ current love affair with the championship has been anything but smooth so far this season–in fact taking a melodramatic turn with much off court noise both preceding and leading up to last Sunday’s loss against the FEU Tamaraws–there can be no counting out Coach Juno Sauler and his boys just yet.
The road to the back-to-back continues as the De La Salle University Green Archers takes on the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in a playoff game to determine the #2 finisher in the elimination round, which will also get the twice to beat advantage in the Final Four. For the second straight year, DLSU and FEU will contest this much-coveted position going into the post-season, which most UAAP observers call the virtual best of three series since either DLSU or FEU has to win two out of their next three possible games to advance to the finals.
If it walks like a champion and defends like a champion and shares the ball like a champion…then it’s definitely the De La Salle Green Archers you’re referring to.