Fil-Oil Game 1: Archers Fall to Tigers
The Green Archers endured a rough start in their pre-season preparations, losing out to the new-look UST Tigers, 70-79 at the Arena this afternoon. The Archers struggled all game long, and tasted the lead only in the early minutes of the game before UST uncorked a barrage of triples courtesy of former Junior Archer Jeric Fortuna to wrest the lead which they never relinquished.
Rusty from the layoff from active competition, the Archers failed to control the tempo of the game. UST ran whenever possible, and repeatedly eluded their defenders to hit 43% of their 2point field goal attempts while battling the Green Archers to a draw on the boards. The Archers’ trademark pressure defense was erratic in today’s game, occasionally forcing the Tigers into shot clock time pressure but also allowing UST to hoist 32 attempts from the 3-point area, of which they made 10. The press failed to make a difference and UST coughed up the ball only 15 times. In contrast, our ball handling and passing was off, leading to our team’s 17 turnovers. This could partly be due to the absence of LA Revilla and Almond Vosotros, two reliable ball handlers and distributors.
The Archers’ touch from the field also was missing. They only made 5 out of 22 attempts from the 3point area, leading to a 15 point differential from the long court. The free throw woes have not yet been addressed – the team collectively misfired on 14 freebies out of 35 attempts.
This year’s team is taller than last year’s Archers with the addition of Van Opstal and Torres, but the team found itself unable to win the battle of the boards. Perhaps it’s the lack of conditioning, but the Archers were a step slower on the hustle plays, and failed to box out the Tigers who tallied 17 offensive rebounds.
Top performers for the Archers were Jovet Mendoza, who was his usual energetic self in the paint for 15 points including a triple, Norbert Torres with 11 points of which 6 came from long range, Simon Atkins who contributed 10 points even as he alternated at the point, and Luigi dela Paz who poured in 10 points.
Among the rookies, Torres and Van Opstal showed the most energy, pounding the boards for a total of 9 rebounds and banging bodies with the UST bigs. Dan Sara showed flashes of his ability, but was a bit over-eager on offense and had a rocky debut in a big tournament as a college player. Alfonzo Gotladera showed a nifty spin move to score, but saw limited action in only 9 minutes. Michael Pate and Louie Vigil were used sparingly and failed to score.
Coach Dindo fielded 15 players out of the roster of 20, giving the rookies that much-needed exposure. Six rookies saw action, led by Norbert Torres (21 minutes), Dan Sara (15 minutes), Van Opstal (11 minutes), Gotladera (9 minutes), Pate (4 minutes), and Vigil (2 minutes) for a total of 62 minutes. Marata, Revilla, Reyes, Herrera and Vosotros did not play. Playing time was spread over the team, and no player spent more than 23 minutes on the floor. Defensive stalwarts Maui Villanueva and Papot Paredes were non-factors, contributing only 4 rebounds, and 2 points in a collective 20 minutes on the court.
Coming off a finals week and unable to practice as a complete team, the Archers were out of sync and lacked their usual intensity and energy. The play was occasionally ragged and out of control, and UST capitalized on the apparent lack of communication and tight teamwork to regain control at the endgame after the Archers had managed to claw back to within 3 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
UST (79) – Fortuna 20, Afuang 19, Bautista 16, Ferrer 14, Abdul 6, Pe 2, Tan 2
DLSU (70) – Mendoza 15, Torres 11, Atkins 11, dela Paz 10, Tampus 5, Andrada 4, Sara 4, Van Opstal 3, Elorde 2, Villanueva 2, Gotladera 2, Webb 1
Quarter scores: 17-22, 33-47, 54-57, 70-79