In the pre-season, UP was able to compete on even terms with the Archers, splitting their games in tournament play – winning once by a point, losing by the same margin, and finally battling to a draw in the last tuneup game
During the pre-season games, the Maroons fielded Mike Silungan, a tall deadshot who plays the wings, but were without Martin Reyes in the tuneup game. Silungan is still establishing his residency. It will be interesting to see whether they can still compete on the same terms without him.
The Archers are still trying to establish some consistency in offense. Team play, a trademark of Archer basketball, must make its appearance. In the first 2 games, the Archers had just 16 assists in total. They must also cut down on their turnovers if they hope to pull off their first win – they turned the ball over 39 times in the first two games.
3-point shooting will have to improve for the Archers hope to notch their first win. The team took 21 attempts in each of the first 2 games, making only 3 in game 1 and 4 against FEU. James is the most accurate long distance shooter with 2/5, followed by Sam Marata who is 3/9. Bader and Simon are the only other players to connect on 3pointers.
DNPs so far: Manguera-2 games, Mendoza-1 game, Andrada-1 game.
Interesting stat: the Archers have not yet blocked any shots after 2 games, yet the defense has held both UE and FEU, very strong teams with a lot of firepower, to 65 points.
The Archer defense can make the difference between the breakthrough win and the cellar. In the first 2 games, UP proved to be a turnover-prone team, with 37 against NU and 21 versus Adamson. In particular, their guards have a tendency to cough up the ball, with their usual ballhandlers (guards and forwards) committing at least a dozen turnovers per game. Against Adamson, Braganza committed a crucial error in the last few seconds that resulted in a basket by the Falcons. Padilla achieved a dubious distinction by logging 10 errors in the first game.