Falcons fans, I have good news and bad news.
So far, the Falcons have a better looking stat line than the Growling Tigers.
We’re probably still going to lose.
After two games in the UAAP and two blowout losses, the Falcons are probably… indifferent about it, seeing how things are going exactly to plan (they said they would start winning next year). If we went by stats alone, we’d be deceived into thinking that the Falcons stand a chance.
Season 77 Average
|Points Scored||Points Allowed||FG%||3 PT FG%||Rebs||Win-Loss Margin|
That isn’t to say the Falcons can’t win. If the coaching staff plays its cards right, they might be able to pull off another UE first half, just rock UST’s socks off and pray to the heavens they can sustain it for 40 minutes. Right now, it’s not only the Falcons players who are under scrutiny but also the coaching staff of Coach Kenneth Duremdes. Aside from points allowed and the win-loss margin, we’re ahead of the Growling Tigers average-wise. Unfortunately this is because both of Adamson’s games were against offensive heavy teams that outscored them quite easily. It also doesn’t help that UST’s average was pulled down by their first game slump against NU. UST is on a mini-roll right now after shocking the team that shocked the defending champs, so it’s likely they’ll be looking to build on that lost-and-found confidence by rolling over a hapless Falcons team.
Keys to the game
Force the ball to Ferrer
Right now, UST has two main weapons, Karim Abdul and Kevin Ferrer. They shared 34 points out of the 69 they needed in order to beat FEU. That’s nearly half of the team’s scoring in only two players. Between the two, the Falcons want Ferrer taking more shots.
Karim Abdul is a low post to high post scorer. He is a force to be reckoned with inside the paint. He is also the more efficient scorer of the two. In their win against FEU, the possession ended with him 23.0% of the times he was on the floor. He had a 55.9% true shooting and at the same time assisted 17.7% of his teammates’ field goals when he’s on the court. He scores, he passes and let’s not forget that he rebounds too.
Kevin Ferrer, on the other hand, is more volatile. He can go hot from the field and he can go on a scoring rampage, but based on their previous game, the Falcons want to force the ball into his hands and keep them there. Ferrer did not make a single assist last game, but this didn’t drive down the fact that he used 28% of the possessions whenever he was on the floor. All of those possessions went to his field goal attempts and turnovers which he had three of in the last game.
Clearly, if the Falcons are going to take chances on defense, taking their chances on Ferrer is a more likely deal. Force the ball to him and then force him into tough shots to get him frustrated. The more he feels he has to carry the team, the better it will be for the Falcons. From there the Falcons can pick off the long rebounds and play the running game. That’s IF they can force it to Ferrer and IF they can force him to take bad shots.
The Falcons are small. Abdul is big and tall. They will need to equalize Abdul if they are to stand a chance. Abdul has averaged 8.5 rebounds a game so far including six offensive rebounds in their loss to NU. The Falcons’ top rebounder is Don Trollano, who really should be delegating the rebounding duties to players like Ivan Villanueva and Matthew Aquino who are supposed to be the big men.
They will need to prevent Karim Abdul from getting to those putbacks and so that they can play the running game again.
There is no point in slowing down for the Falcons. The slower they go, the harder they fall. They have just shown that against UE. Their only moment of success came when they ran at all opportunities. Unless by some miracle they suddenly learned to execute a halfcourt system, their best chance at scoring is on the run.
It also helps that UST is not a high scoring team. UST has scored less in a win than the Falcons have scored in a blowout loss. Not really a good indicator of things, but it shows the Falcons will want to trade attempts at the basket as often as possible.
UE was a potential for ugly, it got ugly. UST is a potential for even more heartache, I shudder to think of the worst the game might turn into. Adamson has the players to win, it’s a matter of the coaching staff doing its job and squeezing one out of them.
Compound this with the fact they’ll be playing without Don Trollano on their roster for this game, things are bound to get painful.