View from the Enemy: Adamson Soaring Falcons
Hargrove will serve a one game suspension vs. the Adamson Soaring Falcons for incurring his 2nd unsportsmanlike foul of the season. The unsportsmanlike foul issued to Hargrove was committed on Karim Abdul (Abdul with a performance selling the call that would make Mick Pennisi proud. Click here for Abdul and click here for Mick). Also, there is a possibility of Jericho Cruz being sidelined because of illness. He tweeted still being sick as of Sept. 5, 2013 and was hospitalized last week due to the same illness.
In any case, this is one of the most important games for FEU. Once considered untouchable for a solo spot in the standings, the Tamaraws are now struggling with a 3rd place record. They need to win both of their remaining games to have a good chance at a twice-to-beat advantage going into the Final Four.
Keys to the game
With Jericho Cruz possibly not playing or playing but not being 100 percent, they will look to Roider Cabrera to carry the offensive load for the Soaring Falcons. Cabrera is a deadly shooter from three, shooting 26 of 88 or 29.5 percent, and is averaging 10.6 points per game. The Tamaraws must stick to Cabrera on defense and make him put the ball on the floor to take away his specialty of making the long ball.
With their starting center Hargrove serving a one game suspension in this game vs. Adamson, rebounding is a key now more than ever. This is very crucial especially since the Tamaraws are going against the monstrous tandem of Brondial and Sewa. What’s encouraging is that FEU is averaging a 2nd best 47.3 rebounds per game, and has really rebounded better in the 2nd round. FEU has to keep the rebounding battle close to be able to win this game.
The Soaring Falcons average the most turnovers in the league with 17.9. FEU has got to attack one of their main weaknesses of protecting the ball, force turnovers and score on the other end. Also, FEU has averaged 17 turnover points in their wins but only 10.5 in their losses which makes this key to the game all the more crucial.
With Hargrove not playing in this game vs. Adamson, the Tamaraws will need solid efforts from Christian Sentcheu and Raymar Jose in manning the center spot. They aren’t expected to score but the team will need their toughness inside. They have to focus on rebounding, boxing out, protecting the paint and bodying up Sewa, Brondial and the other Adamson bigs.
Fatigue has caught up with the Tamaraws and they haven’t been able to match the energy that gave them success in the first round. The Tamaraws have to dig deep within themselves and fight these last two ball games. FEU has to secure the win in these last two games to have a good chance at a twice to beat advantage in the final four.
I noticed that the FEU guards have not been able to get into the paint like they did in the first round. In the game vs. UE, a big part of getting the lead was Achie Inigo being able to attack and drive the lane to get points for himself or dish to the open man. It might be that the rest of the league has figured out how to play the Tamaraws, but it also might be fatigue. In whatever case, FEU has to figure out ways to keep attacking.