De La Salle University gets a reprieve from its grueling schedule as they face the hapless Adamson Falcons tomorrow. They have been ravaged by opening their title defense against the contenders who want a piece of the Archers. Only University of Santo Tomas, the team they conquered in the finals last year, remains in their schedule along with University of the Philippines.
The Green Archers did beat the Falcons rather handily last season even if Adamson boasted of a Big Three in Jericho Cruz, Ingrid Sewa, and Rodney Brondial. It won’t be different this time around. I would be wholly surprised if La Salle doesn’t get its bearings and steamroll Kenneth Duremdes’ squad. It is worth a try to note some factors down though.
GOOD JERON TENG OR BAD JERON TENG?
Jeron Teng, the Robo-Son (as coined by Mico Halili), is one polarizing player so far, at least on my end. He still likes to shoot jump shots more than drive down the lane using his size and strength. His best game so far came against the UE Red Warriors where he finally shot 50 percent from the field and finished with more points (18) than shots (12). This is the first time it happened in a long while since Season 76 in their second round win over UP. La Salle will steamroll Adamson in convincing fashion if it’s the good Jeron Teng we’ll be able to watch. If it’s chucker Teng, then the lead might stand a bit closer. Say, 15?
One dimension about his game that has greatly improved is his ability to find people. Finally, someone is distributing the ball consistently for the Green Archers! The only thing Teng has to cut down on, besides brick-layering, is turning it over. His assist-turnover ratio isn’t sitting pretty. But at least hey, he’s better than Kib Montalbo.
This was an experimental thing against the National University Bulldogs. However, having Jason Perkins, Norbert Torres, and Arnold Van Opstal out there all at the same time was a big boon for the Archers. No matter if Perkins only managed two points against the Warriors, this frontline would beat the hell out of anybody on any given day.
Adamson only has Ivan Villanueva as its big (well, literally), with two reed-thin rookie centers to support him. Their tallest player is their assistant coach for crying out loud. It would make no sense if the Archers downsize and play along with the Falcons. Crush them inside I say and do them an honor.
THE PRINCE AND HIS SARGENT
Juno Sauler should let Prince Rivero and Julian Sargent play more in this game. Out of the four rookies they brought in, Rivero and Sargent have been the most impressive. I say, ditch Kib Montalbo in the starting unit and plug in Sargent while having Teng do the distributing and play-making. He offers waaaaaaaay more than what Montalbo can accomplish in 27 minutes (0 pts, 0 ast, couple of TOs). Here’s a young two-way player whose jump shot is not that shaky like the “starting” PG. He can also be that perimeter defender La Salle is looking for.
As for Rivero, the kid has the tools to do good. He just has to lessen his mistakes out there and it shall come with experience. Time to let the young guns gain their confidence against a listless team, Juno.
La Salle should never have problems against Adamson like what happened to UST (God, that was bad) and UE (for one half). They have a coach who knows when and how to kill an opposing team so that should take care of itself. Stats-wise, the Falcons are down there while La Salle is still running in the middle. But that should be out of the major factors to the game. I don’t see them having a problem trying to stop Don Trollano and Jansen Rios, honestly.