The FEU Tamaraws, 3-0 and on top of the standings, will now have a bulls-eye on their backs. The Tamaraws were overlooked this season as being contenders. However with early success in the season, they’ve opened some eyes and will now get the best efforts coming from their opponents.
The DLSU Green Archers have now won 2 in a row and will be looking to improve their record to 3-1 against the FEU Tamaraws. The Green Archers are going to try to prove they are the top dogs of the UAAP. Expect the La Salle team to play with a lot of intensity in this ball game.
If you’re FEU, you’re probably worried about the La Salle bigs hurting you in this game. Arnold Van Opstal came off one of the best games of his career versus Ateneo, causing havoc inside. You’ve also got to worry about Jason Perkins who can do a lot of things well. He can score the ball in the post, shoot jumpers and also rebounds well. DLSU can also hurt you from the outside with shooters like Vosotros and Dela Paz (who hit big shots versus Ateneo). Jeron Teng is also a tough cover when he gets rolling. He finishes well on the break and very skilled in the post. FEU will have their work cut out for them. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Keys to the game
its not only La SAlle who’s dangerous in this league, FEU’s got some firepower as well. No wait, not firepower, they’ve got weapons of mass destruction in Garcia, Romeo and Tolomia. If you watched the Ateneo vs. La Salle game, Newsome had his way around the basket with some pick and rolls and fastbreak opportunities. I’m sure Coach Nash Racela will be on this to try to mimic Newsome’s success. With guards like Romeo, Garcia and especially Tolomia who’s been good this year finishing around the rim, they will cause headaches for the La Salle defense.
Keep Jeron out of the paint
Jeron Teng is a bonafide superstar in this league but hasn’t improved his jumper much from last season. FEU has got to get in front of him, block the lanes to the basket and make him shoot from the outside. They also can’t let him get easy shots and should foul him on fast break attempts. Make him work for it at the line, where he’s a very poor free throw shooter shooting 25% so far in this season.
Rain, rain, go away
FEU needs to closeout on shooters like Vosotros, Dela Paz and Torres. The trio has been very good from the three point line early in the season with a combined 14/41 (34.14%).
Probably one of the most crucial factors in this game will be rebounding. So far, FEU has been out-rebounded in its past three games and now facing the giant frontcourt of La Salle, it might be cause for concern for the FEU team. They have to team rebound to have a chance in this one.
In the end,I give a slight edge to the FEU Tamaraws. Here’s why:
Romeo, Garcia and Tolomia have been unbelievably great early in the season and I think they’ll carry over the momentum in this game. Jeron Teng has struggled early in the season with his shot and especially his free throws. I’m also not sure if the newly found Van Opstal will be consistent throughout this whole season.
The FEU coaching staff has been outstanding in adjustments early this season and that will definitely help them get a win versus La Salle. Added storyline: La Salle won the last game of the eliminations to deny FEU a final four berth. This has to count for something right? FEU will be looking for payback, look for them to channel their emotions to get a win.
But then again, might be wrong, rebounds wins games and height is might. Let’s see.