Pregame: Green Archers vs Blue Eagles 7/28
Aside from Ateneo, the Green Archers will be going up against another formidable foe in recent years, the foul line.
A lot has already been said and written about the team’s free throw struggles. We have nothing else to say, but to hope that the team would once and for all find the solution to this problem. So many close games have already been lost for the past few years – games which could have gone their way and would have made a big difference as far as making it to at least the Final 4.
Against FEU last Sunday, the Archers played exceptional defense all throughout but could not find their rhythm offensively which kept the game close and allowed the Tamaraws to steal the win in the closing seconds. With Ateneo, every point matters.
Greg Slaughter – The Archers have players that can match up well with everyone in the Ateneo roster except for this guy. Containing Slaughter will be a tough task and it would be up to the big guys to outwork and outhustle him in the shaded area.
Backcourt – Here’s hoping that LA and Luigi will be back for this game. Their presence was sorely missed last Sunday.
Jed Manguera – Even with a busted nose, expect Jed to play tomorrow. His task of trying to shut down the opponent’s top guns is going to be key in this game.
Keeping the game close – Since 2008, Ateneo has won 9 out of the last 10 UAAP matches against La Salle. Most of their wins were blowouts, an average margin of 10.6 points. La Salle is 1-1 in games decided by less than 5 points. Keep the game within striking distance and anything can happen.
Jeron Teng – Averaging in double figures in the first two games, Jeron was limited to just 6 points against FEU. We are expecting him to bounce back strong.
“Trading Places” – Mac Tallo was heavily recruited by Ateneo two years ago, he played for the Blue Eagles in the preseason tournaments last year but later on decided to instead go to La Salle before the school year started. Nico Elorde on the other hand, was a standout for DLSZ in high school and played one season for the Green Archers in 2010. He transferred to Ateneo last year.
It’s funny that for the past several years, La Salle has always beaten Ateneo in tournaments that are not named “UAAP”. Could it be the bigger arenas, the bigger crowds or just the bigger stakes that come with playing in the biggest stage in collegiate basketball?
Make no mistake about it, the Green Archers have the talent to win now and be among the elite teams in the league. But first, they have to overcome themselves.