View from the Enemy: UP Fighting Maroons
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and the Soaring Falcons’ journey to the top starts on Sunday.However, the UP Fighting Maroons will be there to push them off course.
The Soaring Falcons are shaking off the memories of a roller coaster Season 75 and are now focusing on earning their spot as contenders for this year’s crown. The June 30 afternoon battle against the widely untested Maroons would probably serve as an indicator of just how dedicated this squad is to winning it all this year. Forty game minutes after the 2 p.m. tip-off, the Adamson Soaring Falcons will either win big or lose miserably, either way, win or lose, one team is going to bust out.
Keys to the Game
- Eyes on the prize. The Soaring Falcons are notorious for going easy on “easy prey.” It’s no secret that the Maroons have not been the strongest team in the league in years. The problem is that even with all the advantages going for them, they just might let the game slip away from them thinking it’s time to spruce up their own highlight reels. The Falcons need to keep their focus (period).
- In coach we trust! It’s no mystery how the Falcons got their stellar season two years ago – belief in and running the Coach Leo system. Their system is about getting the right person the right shots from where they’re comfortable. They live and die running these plays, if they don’t run plays, they don’t win.
- Question on point. Either Ryan Monteclaro or Axel Iñigo has to step up in this game. It will be too easy for opposing teams like UP with eager new players to show off their mettle on defense and lock down on the Falcon scorers, so their point guard will come into play heavily as their way of finding offense outside the system. But with Ryan facing some hard times outside the court and possibly sitting out this game against UP, expect Iñigo to get his chance to make a mark in this game.
- Dancing in the paint. Veteran center Rodney Brondial once described his game as, “Sumasayaw sa ilalim” (dancing in the paint). With Ingrid Sewa in the paint with him, expect Brondial to keep the beat going under the basket, jockeying, boxing out, rebounding and putting back shots all game long. While their centers don’t often get their points from iso-post moves, they’re able to get them from hand-offs and put-backs, so rebounding and staying active down low are essential to dominating this battle.
- (_)Ericho Cruz! You might be wondering why I spelled it that way… it’s cause he got no J! (Yes, Miguel, I’m using it.) If Jericho Cruz can get his jumpshot going in this game, the Falcons are going to dominate this game for sure. Cruz is a beast slashing into the lane, but his mid and outside shooting leave much to be desired. Yes, he can occasionally hit from down town, but if he gets hot from there, expect the opposing defense to be constantly on their heels. The same goes with everyone on the team, though some players don’t have Coach Leo’s metaphorical green light to let it fly from outside, it’d be great if those who did would actually make their shots.
The Soaring Falcons have a good chance of winning this game by a big margin, but it all boils down to not underestimating their opponent. They have fallen to that before and hopefully they won’t do it on Sunday.
The AdU vs UP game will be tomorrow, June 30, 2 p.m. at the MOA Arena.