Game Notes

  1. DLSU was pretty much in control of the whole game. A big part of getting control of the game was sharing the ball, finding the open man and knocking down shots. They made 11 impressive triples on 34.4% shooting and had 17 assists for the ball game.
  2. LA Revilla had one of the biggest games of his career, scoring 20 points and making six triples. He also played spectacular defense on Romeo which was key to the FEU guard’s first half struggles. Revilla constantly defended Romeo’s shots well, and more importantly for DLSU, he was able to keep up laterally and stop him from getting inside. Revilla has consistently been the best defender on Romeo this season. This was most evidently seen when Revilla was taken out of the ballgame to rest and Romeo started torching Thomas Torres and scored eight points in around two minutes.
  3. FEU was giving DLSU the three ball to better cover the bigs inside. DLSU answered by shooting 11/32 from three.

FEU’s Defensive Strategy

Revilla shoots over Romeo. (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.ph)

Revilla shoots over Romeo. (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, SPIN)

In order to understand why FEU employed the “we’ll give you the three strategy,” we have to go way back to August 18, 2013. It was the second round match-up between FEU and DLSU. The Green Archers were constantly pounding the ball inside and FEU couldn’t answer. They trailed for most part of the game and even with a late game comeback attempt, they did not succeed in beating DLSU. The FEU Tamaraws took a beating that day. Never was there a game that they were so badly beaten inside the paint. Here’s a Nash Racela quote from after that August 18 game:

They just went to the post, went to the post, went to the post. Ganoon talaga. We tried defending them but we gave up 33 free throws. I don’t know how we will defend

NASH RACELA

They were also massively outrebounded, 59-36. Everybody knows DLSU’s strength is their front court. FEU was placed in a very difficult situation: play the bigs with honest 1-on-1 defense (with a risk of being pounded inside once again) or pack the paint let DLSU beat you from the outside.

I actually liked the FEU defensive strategy, they defended the DLSU bigs better and were securing the rebounds (DLSU 48-44 FEU). In my opinion, I would rather have the DLSU guards beat me than their front court but that’s when you realize how good DLSU is, even their back court is loaded with talent. The Green Archer guards did their job and knocked down the open shots.

FEU Offense

Garcia commanding so much attention from DLSU. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News)

Garcia commanding so much attention from DLSU. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News)

FEU shot a horrible 5/34 (14.7%) from three. The Tamaraws just can’t win shooting that bad from the three-point range. DLSU played great defense but the Tamaraws also missed a lot of makeable shots. The three-point shot is one of their biggest weapons/strengths and they have to get their touch back from the perimeter.

Terrence Romeo really struggled in the first half and a lot of that was because of Revilla’s defense. When Torres and Vosotros was covering Romeo, he was able to break down their defense and score efficiently. Romeo has got to figure out how to play against Revilla’s defense. Revilla was really good in staying in front of Romeo and even in the post he wasn’t giving any ground. LA is a great defender but I think Romeo is just on a different level on offense. He just has to figure it out, whether it be posting up more, taking better shots or making the extra pass.

I actually wanted FEU to get Romeo and Garcia more post up opportunities. They have a big size advantage over the guards of DLSU. The Archers are probably aware of this and it shows in how they cover the FEU guard postups. Here’s a look at how DLSU plays that scenario:

The FEU guards command so much attention in the post. DLSU almost always sends one or two guys to help out. I hope the Tamaraws can take advantage of this.

Review of the Keys of the Game

Stop the two Js

I thought FEU did a good job in covering Jeron Teng and Jason Perkins, both had slow starts and were defended really well. Then the dynamic duo caught fire, Teng ended up with 13 points (30.8% FG) and 10 rebounds, while Perkins ended up with 14 points (57.1% FG) and seven rebounds. They both did a lot of their damage on the free throw line shooting 5/6 each. The Tamaraws have to continue their good defense on Perkins and Teng.

Rebounds

The Tamaraws actually rebounded well enough to have a chance to win (DLSU 48-44 FEU). They have to continue boxing out and getting the boards.

The ‘Threes’ Musketeers

FEU needs to knock down the long-range bombs. It’s actually almost a must for them to win. The dribble drive motion needs those long-range shots or else the offense crumbles.

Adjustments

Coach Nash Racela. (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.ph)

Coach Nash Racela. (Photo Credit: Jerome Ascano, SPIN)

Both teams will go into Wednesday’s game with a sense of how they’re going to play each other. It will be interesting to see if FEU will still give the three ball to DLSU. FEU has to learn from how DLSU played them in the playoff game. The Archer defense will most likely be centered and focused on stopping the FEU guards, the Tamaraws have to adjust.