Green Archers Outrank the Generals

The De La Salle Green Archers notched their 2nd win in as many games today as they crushed the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals 93-69, in the 2010 Filoil Flying V Invitational Tournament at the San Juan Arena. The Archers simply blew past their Taft Avenue neighbor right from the opening tip and never game them any chance to mount a comeback.

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Archers with Joshua Webb again leading the way with 19 points followed by rookie Almond Vosotros and Ferdinand with 11 and 10 points respectively. Jarelan Tampus finally got the chance to show his true form after a forgettable debut as he chipped in 9 markers.

The rookies showed why they were highly regarded by the team officials. Tampus and Vosotros showed their ability to score, dela Paz was again effective as a swingman, while Reyes and Paredes helped clog the inside. Elorde ably orchestrated the plays, and even Herrera managed to score when he was fielded in the last few minutes.

Veterans Atkins and Ferdinand continued to impress. Atkins is finally showing his true ability as a playmaker, finding his teammates with pinpoint passes and exhibiting an uncanny ability to trigger a fastbreak at the slightest hint of an opportunity. For the second game, Ferdinand proved to be a force in the middle, and together with Andrada, Paredes, and Reyes, made life difficult for the opposing EAC bigs. He was particularly active on the boards, on one play grabbing 3 consecutive offensive rebounds on putback attempts before he was fouled and sent to the free throw line. And surprise of surprises – he made 4/4 in one stretch.

Sophomores Banal and Marata seem to have settled down, and aside from being outside threats, are now showing their ability to move with the ball and take it to the hoop. Tolentino ably spelled Atkins, and was fielded as an sg for a stretch with Elorde manning the point. With Atkins, Vosotros, Elorde, and Tolentino at the point, our ball handling chores are in good hands, and this gives Dindo some flexibility and gives the team a different look if he wants a fast squad with good handlers on the floor.

But more than everything else, it was the team’s stifling defense that forced the Generals intto turnovers and bad shots. Ah yes, it was the vintage La Salle pressure defense at its best, something we were not able to see much of last year. This enabled the team to get 36 fastbreak and 32 turnover points which is already almost the entire output of the Generals.

If there is something new with the Green Archers in this game, it has got to be their relaxed, free-flowing offensive style. I noticed that there was not much hesitation for the players to shot and their plays were not too deliberate. Lots of quick ball movement around the perimeter, and the improved ability to penetrate now characterizes this backcourt-dominated team. If memory serves me right, the Dindo Pumaren-coached UE teams played a similar game, which makes it more difficult for opponents to set up their defenses. The quick ball movement, coupled with the constant activity in and around the shaded lane, allow our players to be more creative individually and attack the basket in different ways. It makes them more unpredictable, and therefore more difficult to defend. At least, that’s the theory. And with the press/trap looking more and more like the dreaded Archer pressure defense of years past, the team can be counted on to deliver an exciting brand of basketball.

But let’s not get carried away. EAC is a relatively weak team, and this is the pre-season. There are still kinks in the Archers’ game, both on offense and defense. Much work still remains to be done, and there are a lot of holes that must be plugged. We’ll know more when the team faces UP on Wednesday, and against Ateneo next Saturday. But in the meantime, the progress of the team is encouraging.

Dare we dream of bettering our 6th place in the UAAP  last year?

Team Box Scores

DLSU 93 – Webb 19, Vosotros 11 ,Ferdinand 10, Tampus 9, Dela Paz 8, Atkins 7, Marata 7, Elorde 7, Reyes 6, Paredes 4, Tolentino 2, Herrera 2 ,Banal 1, Andrada 0, Villanueva 0

Quarter Scrores: 20-16, 48-30, 63-52, 93- 69

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