It’s almost a week already when FEU lost to University of Santo Tomas. It might be a bitter pill for us to swallow, but we’re grateful that the loss came sooner. FEU started out strong in the previous seasons, having posted 4-0 and 7-0 in Seasons 75 and 76 respectively. Some may say that 1-1 seems to be an unfamiliar position for the Tamaraws but it isn’t. FEU also started 1-1 in Season 74 and even went on to the Finals. FEU’s current standing isn’t that bothersome to see, but let us treat this as a warm-up on what’s going to come.
For UP, a 0-3 record this early must have given them the creeps. Others would easily think that this season would just be the same with the past and just accept defeat when facing a tougher squad. In my opinion, UP was just unfortunate with their first three opponents (UE, NU, ADMU). Before judging them with their current standing, one should look first on how they performed during those games. Well, some people might have missed something worth noting for.
In this battle between veterans and potentials, let’s see how these teams use their strengths to take advantage on each other.
Keys to the game
START IT STRONG, END IT STRONG
FEU was really sluggish last Sunday, and you couldn’t even imagine how this team went loose against an equally strong team. The Tams should return to their original and deadly form before UP catches up with them and even take the lead. They shouldn’t let any opportunity pass them by, and they also need to take note how the Fighting Maroons was able to cut down the lead into three against Ateneo before they melted down in the dying minutes.
CLOG THE PAINT
UP’s total rebounds compared to their opponents are quite disappointing given the fact that they lack experienced bigs in their lineup. The Diliman-based squad lost their significant big men in Chris Ball and Raul Soyud who outrebounded FEU during their first round meeting last season. It’s now time for FEU to dominate the paint, box out those bigs and do not let any Maroon to get a touch on that leather ball.
FORCE TOUGH SHOTS
By looking at their stats against Ateneo, I think UP can pull an upset anytime soon. With 50% field goal percentage (32-of-64) compared to Ateneo’s 40.9% in 27-of-66 shooting, anyone would really be amazed with this development.
For FEU to counter UP this time, defense will really be critical. The Maroons are starting to unleash the potentials that everybody has been pointing out since last year. FEU’s defenders must do their job very well to lock down any shooters in the field. Since the Tams are quite bigger, it will be good for them to use their height to intimidate whoever handles the ball.
FEU will definitely get this win. It will be hard for UP to topple down a veteran team like FEU especially when you enter experience and the size of the lineup in the talks. I mentioned earlier that UP will be able to pull an upset anytime soon, but, not against FEU.
View from the Enemy: UP Fighting Maroons
Featured Image courtesy of Mark Cristino, Pinoy Exchange