La Salle is looking to bounce back after a horrendous showing last Thursday as they go up against the UE Red Warriors. The Green Archers were unable to score a win against them is Season 72. The Warriors just had too much size, firepower and experience for our team to handle last year. Despite the loss of almost all of last year’s starters, UE remains to be a tall and formidable team.
It will be interesting to see coach Dindo go up against the school he guided for 5 seasons. With him at the coaching helm, UE was always a perennial contender. Though the Red Warriors’ composition has significantly changed since he left, Dindo is still very much familiar with their mainstays whom he recruited and developed.
UE is coming off an 80-67 opening day loss to UST. Paul Lee had a lackluster performance with only 7 points though it was reported that he played hurt. The comebacking James Martinez was also shut down by the tough perimeter defense of the Growling Tigers. Sophomore Ken Acibar, who once suited up for La Salle as an aspirant during the summer leagues a couple of years back, led the Warriors with 17 points.
When he is healthy, no one in the Archers’ backcourt can individually stop Lee. He can just hurt you in so many ways offensively. Simon may perhaps be the only one among our guards capable to hang tough with him throughout the match. It may be better to assign Joshua on Lee. James Martinez and Paul Zamar are basically spot-up shooters while Raffy Reyes is more of a slasher type. Though all of them played poorly against UST, expect them to play inspired ball on Sunday as they go up against their former mentor.
With their experience, the Green Archers have a slight advantage in the frontline. I say slight because of the inconsistency and also the fact the UE has a phalanx of agile big men capable of putting up a fight. Acibar and Garrick Ayala will most likely go head-on with Ferdinand and Maui down low.
This is Paul Lee’s team. Unlike last year when you had to contend with the likes of Pari Llagas, Elmer Espiritu and Val Acuna, UE’s fortunes this year all rests on the shoulders of Lee. UST did a good job in holding Lee to below his average. If the Green Archers can apply the same tough defense on him all game, they’ll be in good shape.
UE is a team that likes to push it and score a lot of points. Worst thing the Green Archers can do is to engage themselves in a shootout with the Red Warriors. Defense will win it.