Written by Ged Austria
DLSU Green Archers def. Adamson Soaring Falcons 79-78
Aljun Melecio, DLSU (22 pts, 4 rebounds, 2 assists)
As expected, Aljun was the main catalyst for DLSU this game. He had the most minutes played for the team, and the most shots taken, and took advantage of those opportunities. Though he isn’t a traditional point guard, he still is effective with the ball in his hands most of the time while their bigs get their fair share of the basketball.
Justine Baltazar, DLSU (16 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks)
Baltazar looked liked he had a different kind of motor in this game. He already is a hard worker, but there seems to be an extra kick of aggressiveness right at the start of the game. He notched a double-double, while doing it on both ends of the floor. His activity and mobility gave AdU a tough time.
Santi Santillan, DLSU (16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks)
Santi Santillan was also a constant contributor for La Salle. He made an all around impact to the game, scoring and working on the defensive end. But what made it more impressive was his efficiency (6/8 FGs) and how he did the dirty work, never forcing the issue.
Jerrick Ahanmisi, Adamson (27 points, 7 rebs, 1 ast)
Ahanmisi is “Mr. Greenlight” as he has complete confidence with all of his shots. He is Coach Franz’s designated main gunner and he’s living up to it. He played the most minutes in this game (40 minutes!!), showing supreme confidence all throughout. He doesn’t care if his previous shot was a make or a miss. But when he knows it’s his shot. HE. WILL. TAKE. IT. Just one of the few bright spots for them in this game.
Sean Manganti, Adamson (23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists)
The captain also contributed and all-around game. As per usual, unseen in the stats will be how Sean has been working in defense. Known before as only someone who is a great defender, he really has improved and elevated his game this season as a constant contributor for Adamson even in the offensive end.
- Coming into the game, we expected that both teams would be aggressive and hungry even from the start. It’s no surprise since both teams came from losses (AdU’s 1st loss of the season vs FEU and DLSU’s loss to archrival ADMU) and both teams wouldn’t want to mess up their team record as the placing in the win-loss column is very tight and crucial.
- This game started off with LaSalle getting an early lead. Both teams were aggressive and physical on defense but Adamson was missing a ton of open shots and couldn’t make outside shots from the beginning. Hence, La Salle got the early lead. AdU also looked lackadaisical with handling the ball and made careless turnovers. Coach Franz said it best during an early timeout huddle: “Mukha tayong nagrerelax,” and it really looked uncharacteristic of any Franz Pumaren team to start off a game that way.
- AdU came out hot in the 2nd quarter (and even Ahanmisi alone closed the gap with an 8-0 run of his own) up until the mid 3rd Q. AdU’s biggest lead was 7 and DLSU’s biggest lead was 10, but by the latter part of the game, it was really tight and close. Up and down like and a see-saw battle. Both teams were aggressive and everyone would expect from that point on that it would be a tight finish too.
- We’ve been used to a cliché saying “If you control the rebounds, you control the game.” Well, it was kind of weird for Adamson because they still ended up losing against DLSU. There is a huge difference in the rebounding category, including the number of shots, type of shots taken, missed, and made. AdU had 26 offensive rebounds compared to DLSU’s 9 only. The theme was basically AdU with and OReb, AdU with a missed shot, and then repeat. They could not convert.
- AdU shot 16/53 from outside the paint (30%) while DLSU made almost 40% of their outside shots. And AdU had 30 more shot attempts (87 att.) than compared to DLSU’s only 57 shots. Before we wonder “how did DLSU make this a close fight and forced OT and win?” we could see that they made up for it in the FT department. They had 41 FT attempts compared to AdU’s 15. It was mainly because DLSU aggressively pounded the rock inside, more than AdU; while AdU kept on firing outside shots which possibly explains the lack of FT attempts.
- Unfortunately, there’s something about Adamson in OTs this season. Back to back OT games and they struggled both OT periods. They missed 16 straight FG attempts dating back to their last OT game against FEU and missed more during the start of the OT period against LaSalle. This is a crucial loss for AdU after starting the season 5-0 which made it look like they’ll be ending at solo #1 after the 1st round but ended up with a triple tie with FEU and ADMU. On the other hand, this game could be a confidence builder for LaSalle who was coming from a loss. And they could carry this momentum going into the 2nd round.