View from the Enemy: UP Fighting Maroons

 

No more Green and White jersey for the new King Fighting Maroon ( Photo Credit:  Winston Baltazar)

No more Green and White jersey for the new King Fighting Maroon ( Photo Credit: Winston Baltazar)

Two teams that lost during the opening weekend will try to bounce back as the De La Salle University Green Archers take on the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons during the first game of Wednesday’s UAAP double header. In their last game, the Green Archers lost a 63-58 overtime heartbreaker to UST, while UP was embarrassed by the Adamson Falcons,  79-67.

Last season, DLSU swept their two games against UP and the Green and White are looking to do the same this season. With the race to the final four spots more open than previous years, it is imperative for teams to not get “upset” by teams that are pegged to be not as talented as them. La Salle should definitely not look passed UP, since this year’s Maroons are more than capable of turning heads and slaying giants.

Keys of the Game

Learn from your mistakes.

The Green and White committed a number of mistakes vs. UST. There were too many turnovers and mental lapses. Plus, they fell in love with the three point shot. While this is definitely a strong suit for DLSU, it just wasn’t working the last time around. Lastly, La Salle also squandered A LOT of free points from the charity stripe. (something that should be quickly turned around if they want to make the final four). Coach Juno and his boys have to be  focused for 40 minutes if they want to beat UP and get back on track.

Do not be overconfident!

It is just the UP Fighting Maroons. It’s a sure win.

Yes, there is a big game against Ateneo this weekend, and I really can’t blame DLSU for already thinking about that game. But there’s still Wednesday’s game to get through and it DLSU absolutely cannot afford to lose to the Fighting Maroons. This game must be used as a stepping-stone game before going up against Ateneo. La Salle needs momentum bad, and this game presents a perfect opportunity to jump start it for them.

Look out for the Former Lasallians

There are five Lasallians playing for the Maroons this year: Former DLSU Green Archer Joseph Marata, former DLSU Team B players JR Gallarza and Andrew Harris and former La Salle Greenhills Greenie standouts Mikee Reyes and of course, the highly touted rookie (and Cherifer model), Andre Paras. Of course, Marata has to be the focus here for DLSU as it looks like he’ll be carrying much of UP’s offense this season. But, DLSU should also pay attention to the other players mentioned above. Case in point: UP last defeated DLSU back in 2009 behind the efforts of  Mikee Reyes. These players will come into this game with chips on their shoulders and we should be prepared for them.

Prediction

I expect DLSU to learn from their mistakes from the first game and play better basketball. Less turnovers, less three point attempts and more free throw makes. We’ll see a La Salle that will play with intensity and focus for 40 minutes. I expect the Maroons to fight back, and we might even see a big game from Marata. Nevertheless, the Archers should have enough to beat UP by a margin of 10 and getting a bit of momentum for a critical game this Sunday.