Oh, La Salle, please be our first?
Like when Adamson faced Ateneo, La Salle too is reeling from a slow start. After winning their season opener against the defending champions, La Salle has since dropped games against UP along with a clobbering at the hands of FEU. While the Archers’ confidence is still in shambles and they’re still trying to pick up stride, now would be an opportune time for the Falcons to learn from the mistakes of their first three games and get things together for their first win… right?
After beating Adamson, Ateneo extended their streak by eking out a win against NU, and with that win came a load of confidence which Ateneo has no problems converting into on-court efficiency. La Salle just might do the same with Adamson. Instead of running the risk of becoming the UAAP doormat, Adamson runs the risk of becoming the UAAP springboard—the team other teams bounce on in order to get a boost.
If Adamson wants to avoid that, they have to go back to basics.
Yes, their loss to UE was an unexpected one. But if they showed anything, it was that when they put their minds to it, they could break the Pumaren full-court trap. Unfortunately this is a young undisciplined team. In the second half when things go out of hand, they become gun-shy and insist on feeding Pape Sarr or forcing their guards to create out of thin air.
They need the same resolve that kept them close in the first 20 minutes of all three of their games, but this time extend it to 45 minutes in case there’s overtime. Nico Capote hitting five of nine from outside against UE shows that they have a legitimate outside threat in him. If they can use him to not only create space but create an offensive flow, attack guards Joseph Nalos and maybe Frederick Tungcab can start hurting La Salle even more.
La Salle’s best attribute is that they have a work horse in Jeron Teng and a master-commander in coach Juno Sauler. Adamson not only has to outwork Teng, they have to make sure that his teammates don’t get too heavily involved. He’s going to hurt them, but unlike Ravena, Teng isn’t going to do it taking crazy difficult jump shots, he’ll be doing it with hard drives to the basket and floaters off spin moves. Fortunately, La Salle isn’t a team that comparatively likes to run, but if Adamson gives up 29 turnovers again, La Salle will make sure they feel every one of them.
- Limit turnovers to 15
- Attempt more than 20 three pointers
- Force Jeron Teng’s effective field goal percentage to 40%
- Limit usage rate of Pape Sarr to less than 20%