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Pregame Primer: Green Archers vs Red Warriors

Green Archers

Last Saturday, it was Terrence Romeo, and then exactly one week after, another spitfire, high scoring guard will again test the mettle of the De La Salle University Green Archers.  In La Salle’s fifth game in the first round of eliminations in the UAAP Season 76 senior’s basketball competition, they will encounter the dangerous Red Warriors of the University of the East.

As we all know, the Red Warriors inflicted a tough defensive game the last time out in the 2013 FilOil Preseason Cup.  The UE guards and wing corps just intercepted and filled properly DLSU’s passing lanes, more than enough to score easy fastbreak attempts in beating the Green Archers.  Towards the end game, Sumang displayed his array of offensive moves, putting the nail on the coffin for the Green Archers.

Aside from Sumang, another guy that beat La Salle back in FilOil was Charles Mammie.  He may be deceptive because at first, you would not know that he can move and attack from the post but definitely he can.  He also beat the Green Archers on the glass, getting second chance points for the Red Warriors and protecting the paint as well.  Olivares is another guy that silently beat the Green Archers with his steady perimeter game back then.

Will this happen again on Saturday?  Personally, I do not want to.  I felt that during the FilOil game; the team was lousy particularly giving away those weak passes against UE’s 2-3 zone defense.  UE’s long wingmen in the mold of Sumido, Casajeros, Olivares, and Noble were able to read those passes easily and convert them to easy baskets in the process and of course Sumang was super human in the closing stages of the game.

Sumang will stay Sumang.  What I noticed when the UAAP started was UE ran more on iso and pick and roll at the top plays for Sumang to create and eventually allow his teammates to contribute on the offensive end.  Mammie and Javier may be getting his touches at the post at times but the offense runs through Sumang.  UE will live and die with his creativity and his teammates’ points will be off his dribble penetrations to the paint.

In UE’s high pick and roll sets, more often, it is Chris Javier setting the pick or other big guy (Noble at times) except for Mammie.  Mammie has been positioning very well for offensive rebounds and what’s good about him is that he seldom brings down the ball for possible deflections from small guys trying to take the ball away from him.  As soon as he gets the offensive rebound, he will always look to put the ball back into the hoop, which is a very good instinct for a big man.

Back into UE’s high pick and roll sets, another positive thing going for UE on those plays is Javier and Noble can both hit the jumpers and at the same time, can take the ball to the hoop.  This gives the Red Warriors added flexibility on offense because either way, Javier and Noble can roll to the basket and finish it or they can pop out to either take the jumper or dribble it in towards the basket.

This is where Olivares and Sumido will come in for the Red Warriors.  Both shooters can knock it down from the outside.  Olivares though can take a pull up jumper off the dribble as compared to Sumido which is more of a spot up shooter.  Alberto is another guy that poses problems for La Salle if he can pull off a surprise performance just like what he did yesterday against the Ateneo.  Alberto ably stepped up from Olivares’ off-game yesterday.

Another player to watch out for is Gino Jumao-as.  He is starting to get minutes in Coach Boyzie Zamar’s rotation as an alternate point guard or shooting guard relieving Sumang or Olivares off the bench.  The kid can also score and is fearless so if given the room and the confidence to score, he can also give problems to La Salle defensively.  But his playing minutes will depend on how Casajeros, Sumang, and Olivares perform so he is a game time adjustment for Coach Boyzie.

As for the Green Archers, it will be important not to let Mammie get those offensive rebounds going.  Most of his points come from offensive putbacks and Arnold and Norbert will definitely get their hands full defending and more importantly boxing out Mammie in the game.  Just like in the previous games, if Arnold can put Mammie into foul trouble, the better and less headache to mind for the Green Archers.
Remember that in La Salle’s game against FEU, Mac Belo feasted on those offensive rebounds and efficiently converted them into second chance points so it will be important for La Salle’s big men not to allow this thing to happen again against the Red Warriors.  Mammie’s a bigger version and even though most of you will say that he is not that fast but I have to say he knows how to position under the basket, the same thing Perkins is doing for La Salle.

La Salle dribble penetration defense will be tested again in this game.  The difference between Sumang and the FEU guard corps is that Sumang tries to attack the basket as his first option compared to the FEU trio of Garcia, Romeo, and Tolomia that they will get the feel of the game with their perimeter shots.  So far this season, Sumang’s perimeter game is not that accurate compared in the FilOil tournament except of course on that four-point play win to beat NU.

It will be interesting to see how La Salle defends UE’s pick and roll game.  Teng’s defense will be put to the test since he plays the small forward and the power forward positions so I expect him to cover Casajeros, Noble, Santos and Javier.  I will be happy to see UE missing attempts from that play of theirs but at the same time, it will be better to limit the Red Warriors to just one shot in the offensive end.

Thomas Torres and LA Revilla’ defense will be important so that Sumang’s decision-making will be disrupted.  UE’s offense will be severely hampered once Sumang throws up those ill-advised attempts so it will be pertinent for La Salle’s guards to make it hard for Sumang to create and decide what to do with the ball.  But I will emphasize this again, it will not make sense if all UE players miss but Mammie gets those offensive rebounds for easy picking.

I would like the Green Archers to run more and efficiently finish the break once they the defensive rebound.  It will help if La Salle can get easy baskets since UE is a good defensive team as well.  They also have long and lanky players like FEU which can be disruptive on defense.  I also hope to see Norbert getting back in his scoring groove to also give UE some fits on defense.

Avoid committing silly turnovers and playing it smart on both ends will help La Salle get its third win of the season.  I personally feel that if the Green Archers can outsmart Sumang and Mammie, it will be big for La Salle to take this game away from the Red Warriors and keep in pace for third place in the standings.  Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how the Green Archers bounce back from their tough loss to FEU last Saturday.  This is a character game for La Salle to see their maturity as a team.