Out of the frying pan and into the fryer.
The Falcons might have been forced to put off a powerhouse FEU team due to the typhoon (I hope everyone is safe!) but instead, their second game of the season matches them up against a hungry UE Red Warriors led by who could arguably be considered the best point guard in the UAAP today.
After UE walloped UP in their season opener and Adamson got their butts handed to them by Ateneo, it’s easy to see how this game will end in a double-digit loss for the rookie-laden team. But, there’s hope yet! In my season preview, I mentioned that Adamson will be able to get an upset or two. UE, despite all its strength with the two foreign players and all, is one of the teams I expect Adamson to be competitive with.
Unlike Ateneo, UE is fielding a new system under a new head coach. Their giant win over UP might have been some major muscle flexing, but UP is a team that is still searching for its first sign of life in years. If Adamson’s coaching staff can get their act together and do their homework right (which they should given the amount of time they had), they should be able to shock UE enough to escape with a win. Or stay competitive.
Keys to the Game
I made a joke about this last year when UE’s giant center went up against Adamson’s own giant center. But things have changed now. Two preseasons ago Charles Mammie wrote, “Kill Sewa,” on his shoes. Sewa’s gone now. Mammie will be so happy. Mammie tore the Falcons apart last year with 24 points and 24 rebounds. This was with both Ingrid Sewa and Rodney Brondial on the floor. Now that the Falcons’ best rebounder is Ivan Villanueva, there’s not much on paper to say that Mammie will meet much opposition.
Finding a way to contain Mammie, the same way Coach Leo found a way to contain Greg Slaughter in Season 74 will be key to preventing the giant from having his way in the paint.
The Falcons shot a horrible 3 of 10 from beyond the arc against the Blue Eagles. They also shot an even worse 29 percent from inside the three-point line. Clearly getting points in the paint or midrange is not their strength. Focusing on swinging the ball outside to hit the open three will not only negate Mammie’s shot blocking presence, but possibly force UE to open up the paint for some drives.
The Falcons have some reliable three-point shooters including a stretch-5 in Ivan Villanueva. Don Trollano has more weapons in his arsenal but is a pretty accurate shooter too. If they can get going from outside early, they’ll be able to force defensive situations later on.
Without anyone to resist the attack of the Mammie, UE will rarely miss. With Sumang running the point, this translates to multiple points of attack for the Warriors. This means attacking at all opportunities. They might be green horns, but any basketball player worth his salt should know how to run a fastbreak. Limit turnovers while forcing misses and running on transition will be key to staying competitive. They have to keep in mind there’s a brick wall waiting for them on the halfcourt set, so their best chance to get good shots is by going on transition. Last game, they converted on their lone fastbreak opportunity… so, hopefully they can build on that.
It’s going to be a bigger whooping than the Ateneo game if Adamson doesn’t get things together quick. At their best, UE can shoot the lights out and just drown teams in points like they did UP, but they’re still a starting out team, meaning they can be outsmarted.