Archers, guess what? You’re all going to the quarters

With San Beda’s 100-76 win over Perpetual today, the De La Salle Green Archers advance to the quarterfinals of the Fil-Oil Flying V Preseason tournament. They will face current NCAA champion San Sebastian Stags this Wednesday at 6pm in a knock-out match for a slot in the semis.

Here are some more highlights from yesterday’s game:

Ferdinand’s asserting himself inside. Yes, he had a few miscues, but it wasn’t for lack of aggressiveness. He even had a chirpy session with an opposing big, and was called for an unsportsmanlike foul after being bumped and trash talked while walking back after one of our baskets. He’s not going to back down against anyone. I liked his willingness to attack inside, and his newly found ambidextrous form which allows him to take a hook or floater using either hand. And he’s always a threat when we take foul shots and miss (a common occurrence), because he’s quick enough to track down the carom for a putback. Just a little more discretion on what moves to make, and he’ll be a force in the paint for us.

Simon, when he’s on, is a threat from the long court, and his heads-up play allows him to create a break after a rebound, spotting teammates sprinting for our basket and getting it to them in the optimum position to score. Coach Dindo is utilizing him more and more as a 2 or 3 together with Tolentino, Vosotros, Elorde, and de la Paz, and this gives the team a lot of flexibility and speed, and gives our press that much needed quickness. We saw how effective the press could be with this quick lineup. Simon’s improved decision-making and on-court judgment might position him to be the much-needed leader of the team this year, if he keeps it up.

The players’ unfamiliarity with each other was still very apparent despite the blowout win, resulting in offensive miscues and missed defensive adjustments. The good thing is that this team has a tremendous upside, and once they get it all together, they will be a very competitive team, albeit on the smallish side. To a certain extent, that can be compensated for by the game-long speed and intensity that they showed they unveiled yesterday. Now, if they could only keep it up consistently, we’ll start to see the Archer brand of basketball that we used to have in past years.

Whether or not they advance in this tournament, let’s give them the positive encouragement and support that they need to build up that much-needed confidence. A confident team is a dangerous team, and if they have the confidence that the community is solidly behind them, they will play their guts out for us.

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