View from the Enemy: FEU Tamaraws
One game down, next in Adamson’s way to a three game sweep to end the season is the FEU Tamaraws.
The mighty Tams have now been proven mortal, losing to NU, losing to Ateneo (big time) and lately, losing to UST. They have got to be exhausted from two double-overtime games but at the same time they must be really determined to get back on track after losing to UST, which is what actually scares me.
In the first round, Terrence Romeo torched the Falcons’ defense, taking on his counterparts and schooling them one-on-one. Lately, Romeo has struggled and as a result, they looked more like the Season 73 and Season 74 team that was pounced on by Ateneo instead of the team that swept the first round.
If Adamson wants any chance to win this game, they will have to play one of the best games they have played all season long (which was almost the case in the first round).
Keys to the Game
Make Romeo struggle
Just frustrate him. Make Romeo find different ways to score, but continue teasing him with the idea that he can score.
In losses, Terrence Romeo’s field goal percentage drops from the low 20% up to a little less than 30% compared to the 30% to low 40% range in their wins. This drop in field goal percentage hurts FEU significantly because Terrence Romeo has been taking roughly the same amount of shots so far each game (24-27) with the exception of their game against La Salle where he took only 18 attempts.
The goal here is not at all to limit Romeo’s touches. The goal is to make his touches ineffective. Every time it’s Romeo pulling up for a low percentage shot, that’s one less attempt Garcia, Tolomia, Pogoy and the rest of the team who have better shooting percentages can attempt.
Force the ball to Tolomia
After forcing Romeo into bad shots (I have no idea how) or if for some reason Romeo decides he wants to be Lebron James and facilitate for his teammates, the number one option for Adamson to give opportunities to would have to be Mike Tolomia.
In the entire second round, Mike Tolomia has not shot better than 28% from the floor. Normally this isn’t a problem for FEU until you realize he has been taking at least 10 attempts each game. 10 attempts, 2.8 of which will make the bottom of the net on a good day, giving them 6 points while the 8 other shots could have been distributed to players like Belo or Mendoza who at the very least can make 50% of their shots on 8 attempts.
Take your chances, Adamson. If you’re going to allow someone to take a slightly contested jumper from the outside, let it be Tolomia.
After forcing Romeo to heave one over Petilos or contesting Tolomia’s jumper, Adamson has to make sure that’s the end of that possession. FEU has upped the ante on their rebounding this round, often tying if not out-rebounding their opponents on both wins and losses (with a few exceptions). This means Adamson has to work hard to lower FEU’s rebounding numbers, especially the offensive rebounds.
In their last meeting, Adamson out-rebounded FEU but lost because of Romeo’s efficient scoring. Take away FEU’s efficiency but allow them to rebound and you’ll probably end up with the same scenario because of the extra opportunities. Both have to go down, efficiency and rebounding, but if efficiency is still there, keep their rebound totals low so at least it will still be a fight.
Shoot that ball!
All the defense in the world wouldn’t matter if your team can’t score. Jericho Cruz, Adamson’s top scorer is still questionable for Saturday’s game due to an illness, but it only means they’ll need to dig deep into their scoring pool. If these two players can get into high scoring numbers this game, the Falcons will clearly have an advantage: Rodney Brondial and Roider Cabrera.
Roider Cabrera, despite his percentage taking a dip lately, is one of the league’s best shooters. Leave him open for a split second and, BANG! If he’s scoring, it means he’s making the most of his 10-something attempts from beyond the arc. It also means the Falcons’ offense is running well and spacing is good.
Rodney Brondial rarely looks for his own points. Often he is left to cleaning up for his teammates. If Brondial has a high scoring game, it means he’s able to clean up after their misses, this means he is out-rebounding FEU bigs. Again, this will also mean their spacing is good enough to have Rodney get into position.
If the two of them get 20 each, it’s a definite win for the Falcons.
The Falcons are playing for pride right now and what better way to show some pride than to take down a playoff-bound team?
It will all boil down to execution and determination for the Falcons, especially since they might still miss Cruz in the lineup and the idea that these might be their last two games with the wise sage Coach Leo barking instructions at them will definitely take a toll on their morale.
Hopefully they do Coach Leo proud by kicking butt. Hopefully the Adamsonian community can get something to smile about despite losing. Hopefully the Falcons give FEU the run for their money they should be.
Note: Anthony Hargrove has been suspended for the game, so expect FEU to have an even harder time on the rebounds.