Pregame: Green Archers vs Falcons
The Green Archers will end their first round campaign against the Adamson Falcons this Sunday. Both teams are currently tied for 2nd place (4-2) along with Ateneo. A victory here by La Salle will not only match their win total from last season but also be within striking distance of league-leading FEU (6-0) going in to the next round of the tournament. Last year, the Archers had a difficult time matching up with the Falcons’ attacking backcourt and their slew of tall and agile wingmen that can both shoot and take it strong into the paint. This year will be the same or harder since Adamson is intact and all primed to make a serious title run.
The Falcons are coming off a blowout win over UE last Thursday. This team has shown a lot of maturity and mental toughness this season. They are no longer the Falcons of old who can’t seem to close out games.
Unlike their last game, the Green Archers will face a backcourt that is a threat both from the inside and in the perimeter. Nuyles and Alvarez are Adamson’s top leading scorers so far. Cat-quick Canada is also capable of producing big numbers despite his small stature. Simon, Sam, Joel, Luigi, and Almond need to play straight-up defense and stop them from driving through the lane. Though they can shoot the jump shot, the Adamson guards do more damage inside. Our players should also be careful on offense as the Falcons lead the league in steals with their backcourt contributing almost half of their total output.
Joshua, Maui, Papot, Yutien, Jovet and Ferdinand will square-off with Adamson’s Galinato, Lozada, Camson, Colina, Stinnett and Manyara. With the Falcons’ big men having more upside in terms of strength and experience, our guys should outrun and outhustle them in order not to be beaten in the paint and on the boards. They should also find ways to neutralize Camson who has shown tremendous improvement offensively.
Adamson is so much like the two teams that defeated us so far. They have a solid, versatile frontline and an explosive backcourt. Their downside is that their bench is not that deep especially at the guard rotation. If Nuyles, Alvarez and Camson don’t get their usual numbers, this will certainly have a huge impact on their chances to win. Statistically, both teams are evenly matched on defense though La Salle has an edge on the rebounding category with a 46.7 average as compared to Adamson’s 38.3. The Falcons are at the bottom in the assists department which is not surprising considering their guards’ penchant for taking matters into their own hands.
Our bench should be the X factor here. La Salle leads the league in bench scoring with an average of 37.8 points per game. If the usual off-the-bench guys like Yutien, Papot, Sam, Jovet, Luigi, Almond and even Oda show up tomorrow, the Archers will have a good chance in winning this one.