The FEU Tamaraws now have the unenviable task of facing the hottest team in the league at the moment, the UE Red Warriors.
The Warriors started off the season slow with a 1-3 record but have won four straight games since (longest active win streak). The Tamaraws, who have been in the shadow of their former first round selves in the past two games, now aim to bounce back but will have to do so without one of their star guards, RR Garcia. Garcia was called for his second unsportsmanlike foul of the season (2 UFs = 1 game suspension) for an extra motion elbow on Oda Tampus after the referee already blew the whistle for a foul.
Everything is clicking for the UE Red Warriors right now and the Tamaraws are in a funk. Its going to be an uphill climb for the FEU Tamaraws.
Keys to the Game
Note: The FEU Tamaraws actually need to work on a lot of their issues offensively and defensively but I will only single out three for this game.
Make perimeter shots
The long jumpers, especially the three ball is a very big part of the FEU Tamaraws’ offense. They need to start hitting shots so that everything can open up for them. Hopefully Coach Nash’s shooting assignment for the guys will help them get out of the funk
Sumang is the soul of the UE offense. He can do everything: shoot, drive and especially break your heart. If Gelo Alolino and Glenn Khobuntin dismantled the FEU defense, I can’t imagine what Roi Sumang will do. To attempt to stop him and his productivity, you must keep him from driving the lane. Easier said than done though. FEU must also hope to contain Sumang in the fourth quarter, here’s a look at his amazingness.
Keep rebounding battle close
UE’s the Number 1 rebounding team in the league – this is mostly because of Charles Mammie. To even have a chance at winning, the rebound battle must be close. FEU doesn’t need to outrebound UE to win, just rebound enough. This is probably UE’s biggest strength and you have to neutralize the rebounding advantage of the Warriors to be able to win.
With RR Garcia out of the picture, Mike Tolomia and Terrence Romeo are probably going to play more minutes. Achie Inigo might get some run, along with Pogoy maybe playing the off guard at times. I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach Nash played Romeo off the bench to balance out the offensive attack.
FEU has got to start knocking down shots. Credit opponents for locking down on FEU but the Tamaraws have to counter somehow. They have to get back to the offensive flow they had in the first round. FEU also has to get better defensively. Both NU and DLSU feasted on the Tamaraws inside and in different ways. NU used their quickness to break down the guards and DLSU pounded the ball inside with their big men. The coaching staff has got to remedy this problem and the team has got to start playing solid defense again.
Disclaimer: All videos are courtesy of ABS-CBN Sports/UAAP Sports TV