I have said it in my pregame writeup that the Adamson Soaring Falcons will want to play as spoiler for the rest of the season. Before the game against the DLSU Green Archers, they were 1-9 and already out of Final Four contention. But this team still had a lot to fight for, wanting to prove to other teams that they are more than what their record shows. For the Green Archers, this was a chance for them to move closer in securing a Final Four berth.
It looked like the Green Archers were on their way to moving up the standing, leading by 17 midway through the third quarter. But Adamson had other plans as they cut the lead down to single digits in the fourth quarter. The Green Archers were able to build their enormous lead with their good defense and great ball movement, leading to easy points inside. By the fourth quarter, they suddenly went back to their old bad habits — jacking up threes even though they were already having a bad outside shooting game, not running down back on defense, and committing useless fouls that sent the Falcons to the line. In the end, the Adamson side were celebrating an improbable win while the Green Archers were left shocked and puzzled. They had no one to blame but themselves.
What went wrong for the Green Archers? First, if you are not having a good shooting day from downtown, it is not really advisable to keep firing them, especially when your opponents are closing in. After leading as much as 17 despite making only a single three-pointer, it must mean that the team is playing the right way. Then all of a sudden they jacked up those outside shots that were unnecessary. By the end of the game, the Green Archers shot a miserable 3/24 from downtown, 2/12 in the final canto. After just giving up 48 points to Adamson for three quarters, the Green Archers allowed 27 points on 64.7% eFG in the final period.
While DLSU had its problems on the defensive end throughout the season, Adamson is not really known to be a great offensive team. But they just kept being aggressive during the final period, running up the floor after every DLSU miss or turnover. The Green Archers also couldn’t stop the duo of Papi Sarr and Joseph Nalos as they combined for 22 of Adamson’s 27 fourth quarter points. DLSU simply did not have an answer to contain the two players. Sarr and Nalos finished the game with 23 and 20 points respectively.
With the loss, DLSU wasted the brilliant effort of sophomore Prince Rivero who had a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. King Archer Jeron Teng added 22. The Green Archers actually had a good rebounding game, posting a high 38.9% offensive rebounding rate, and they forced Adamson to commit a lot of turnovers (22.4% TOV). But the Green Archers just could not capitalize on these two categories as they had a low 36.2% eFG throughout the game.
If there is any silver lining in this loss, it is that the Green Archers are still holding on to the fourth spot. But instead of pulling away from the other teams, they are making it interesting for the last spot in the Final Four. Their final four games (against NU, Ateneo, UP, and FEU) in the eliminations will be crucial because
- There are no sure-win games in the UAAP.
- NU, UP and UE still have a chance to snatch the last spot.
- You really do not want to give up on the season because of a few screw-ups in the eliminations.
The Green Archers should be thankful that other teams have not really been playing well this season.