How far back are the Falcons going to fall?
After taking several baby steps forward through the season, the Falcons look like they might take a step back. The Bulldogs are primed and ready, not to mention psyched after beating a streaking Ateneo team in their previous game. These two teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum right now, Adamson likes to play at a faster pace than NU, but fails to convert their field goal attempts (effective FG% of 34%) while NU has been taking the slow but steady road into averaging a 43.9% effective FG% so far in the season. On average, Adamson has allowed their opponents 96.6 points per 100 possessions while only managing to average 75.4. NU limits their opponents to 75.2 points per 100 while scoring 86.4.
The numbers are not looking good for the Falcons, so they had better think of something fast. Poor shooting from their opponent might not save them anymore and slapping a 2-3 zone on them will be daring the league’s third best shooting team to hit jumpers, which they would likely be happy to oblige with. To stand a chance at winning, or even competing, the Falcons need to step up their game and not hope that their opponent will stoop down to them. It’s clear, the Falcons will need the game of their careers to pull off a win against NU, but it’s still doable.
Keys to the game
Adamson might be second to the bottom when it comes to scoring on the field, but they are the best in the league in getting to the free throw line (28.3 FTA per game) and second when it comes to percentage. NU on the other hand has not gotten to the line as often as Adamson, yet only converted on 52.5% of them putting them rock bottom on free throw percentages.
To augment the lack of on-court productivity, the Falcons will need to be aggressive on both ends. Drive and get to the line on offense, defend hard and prevent easy shots on defense. The more cracks at the free throw line the Falcons get and the less field goal attempts the Bulldogs have, the better it will be for Adamson.
EXECUTE ON THE HALF COURT
Adamson is third worst in the league in turnovers per game with the top two, UE and UST, being a tie. This is because of how easily they get pressured by a full court trap and by how sloppily they’ve ran their half court offense so far. Executing on the half court doesn’t just mean going through the motions of the play but actually attacking off each screen and pass, at least make the opponents believe that what they’re running might actually convert to points.
They need to attack the basket to draw fouls, but when they don’t, they still need to make sure they can finish at the rim. They won’t be able to run all the time, so they’ll definitely need those half court sets to score some points off.
To improve in any aspect of the game against NU would be a tremendous leap forward for the Falcons. Unfortunately, a team as resolved as NU to finally coming out as a legitimate contender will exert their dominance over a greenhorn team. It will be a battle, one Adamson needs to suck up and face head on. It’s important they realize how to learn from every game, win or lose, they must grow.