Pregame Bullets: DLSU vs ADMU
First, here are some additional notes from last Sunday’s game from our very own Andrew Tan
- During the postgame interview last Sunday, coach Franz said his boys were motivated from an earlier statement made by UST coach Pido Jarencio that weak teams like UP, NU and La Salle can beat the stronger ones. “At least we were able to prove that a weak team like us can indeed beat a strong team.” he said as a jibe.
- Coach Franz also praised the team for their gallant effort especially Peejay Barua for his clutch baskets in overtime. “The guys didn’t quit. Even when UST made that run, we still stuck to the game plan and luckily we still managed to win.”
- He also acknowledged the La Salle faithful who cheered relentlessly even when the team was down by a huge deficit. “Guys, I love what I saw kanina, everybody, you were trying to urge the crowd to cheer. I love that! That’s what we need; we need a little fighting spirit within ourselves, a little morale boosting.” he said to his players at the dugout. “Yung mga wishful thinking na we will not be successful will backfire on them, what is important like what I have been telling you is that I trust you and I believe in each and everyone of you that is why you are wearing that uniform.” he further said.
- To close his pep talk, he said these inspiring words “I don’t care what they say. As long as we play together, as long as we play this hard each game, as long as we compete, we will make everyone happy and we will be successful.”
And now on to the much-awaited showdown against Ateneo
- A lot of die-hards feel that the Archers will have difficulties winning in a high-scoring match. The team is known for its hard-nosed full court press but in last Sunday’s game against UST, they allowed the Tigers to score a bunch of points. True, the Archers won, but it was a shootout, and that’s not the way the Archers will win. The Blue Eagles had enough firepower and a good enough defense to win against the teams they’ve played so far.
- Let’s take a look at their record against final 4 contenders FEU, UE, and UST. Against FEU (first game), they won in a low scoring game, 63-59. When they played UE, they put more points on the board and held UE to just 57. UST managed to get to 77 with their high octane defense, but allowed Ateneo to score 92. Against these 3 teams, the Blue Eagles averaged 76 points and allowed the opponents to score only 64. Tthey’re obviously paying attention to their defense.
- Our offense has been inconsistent. In our first 4 games (UE, FEU, UP, ADU), we averaged only 58.5 points, with a high of 73 against UP. Clearly the 101 points we scored against UST is par for the course against the Tigers, because the porous defense of UST has given up more points (89.2) than they score (88.2).
- Our average score for the full 40 minutes of a regulation game (counting our score at the end of regulation against UST-82) is 63.2. This is close to what Ateneo allows their opponents to score. Our outside shooting has been on-and-off. If we can’t connect from the long court, Ateneo will simply pack the paint and dare us to hit it from outside. Any lane incursions will be met by lots of flapping wings (attempted shot blocks) of the elongated frontline. Our guard corps (Simon, Hyram, Bader) does have a bit of a height advantage over the opposing pgs, so it remains to be seen if they will be allowed some isolation sets on offense inside the paint.
- The Blue Eagles are the defending champs, and boast of a solid lineup they carried over from last year. They’re strong in all areas: inside game, outside shooting, penetration. They guard the paint jealously, pride themselves on their shotblocking ability, and rely on Al Husseini, Salva and Baclao to score inisde. Any careless ball handling or passing is likely to be punished by Salamat and his group of thieving guards. Our perimeter defense will likewise be tested by slashers Buenafe, Salamat, and their “points guards” who like to shoot from outside.
- So, if our offense continues to be inconsistent (worst case scenario), we won’t win UNLESS we put a lid on the Ateneo goal through honest, tough, unrelenting, 40-minute defense. Our coaches have proven that they’re good strategists, so expect them to plan for the worst case scenario as Plan A. That’s defense. Plan B? Sure to be defense also. and Plan C? Again based on defense. Expect the Archers to have different defensive looks during the game, which they will vary often. This changeup will try to prevent the Blue Eagles from settling into a rhythm, try to keep them under pressure and off balance throughout the game. A low scoring game is in our favor; the high flying Eagles are not used to being forced to fly close to the ground where they are vulnerable to the arrows of the Green Archers. Heck, at low altitude, a slingshot (or even a made free throw or two???) could bring them down.
- Lastly, Ateneo will try to get into the heads of the players. The key is to maintain the concentration, stay with the plan, and avoid being distracted by the antics and faces (sorry, couldn’t help that) of the opponents.
- We’re definitely the underdogs in this game. But we have a chance. Focus. Concentration. Intensity. Composure. Heart. Above all, defense.
KEEP THE FAITH!