View from the Enemy: UST Growling Tigers
The FEU Tamaraws are still on top of the standings (5-0), led by their superstar guard Terrence Romeo who’s been playing like the league MVP this year. The Tamaraws have been shooting lights out lately, shooting 32.1% from three-point range. They’ve been awesome on offense, averaging a league high 82.6 points per game. They’ve also been really good on the defensive end, forcing a league best 32.6% FG shooting from their opponents. It’s just been a marvelous start for the FEU Tamaraws who weren’t regarded as strong title contenders this year.
The UST Growling Tigers have been excellent defensively this year, averaging a league-best 67.0 points allowed per game. They suffered a tough loss with the injury of their main gunner Jeric Teng. They will certainly miss his scoring ability and leadership in the game versus FEU. They are 3-1 in the standings and will look for their fourth win against the Tamaraws.
Keys to the game
Share the ball
FEU is averaging a league best 16.6 assists per game which is a big reason why they’ve had much success early in the season. Their offense looks much better moving the ball around and finding the open guy, instead of isolations and one-on-one basketball. They showcased their unselfishness against the NU Bulldogs ending with a collective 19 assists by the team. They must share the ball to have a chance of beating the very dangerous UST Growling Tigers.
The Four Horsemen
UST might not have Jeric Teng for this game but they are still loaded with really talented players. Karim Abdul will wreak havoc inside with his post moves and soft touch. Aljon Mariano is an athletic big who can destroy the defense with an array of offensive moves. He was struggling for the first three games, might have still felt pain due to an injury in his foot but he might have found the beast inside himself with a 24 point and 11 rebound performance against UE. Kevin Ferrer has been a very capable scorer and Ed Daquioag has stepped up this year taking over the point guard duties from Jeric Fortuna. These are the guys most dangerous on offense and all of them average over 10 points per game. They must contain if not all, then maybe one or two of them to get the win.
The Other Guys
Romeo, Tolomia and Garcia have been spectacular for FEU but much of their success can also be attributed to the role players of the Tamaraws. The rest of the team has been averaging 35.3 points per game and those points have been a big factor for the 5-0 start. There’s always a fourth contributing guy that helps FEU get the win. Whether it be Carl Bryan Cruz getting a double double, Pogoy crashing the offensive glass and getting putbacks, or Sentcheu getting blocks and easy layups, the role players have got to step up to get the win against a very potent UST team.
I think FEU wins this in a close race. The Tamaraws have been off the charts with regard to their offense and momentum will carry over in this game. Confidence is sky high for this team and it’s a good thing to play with confidence in basketball (just don’t be overconfident). UST took a big blow losing Teng and still have to figure out how to play without their leader. Mariano has found his stroke though in the last game vs. UE, so it might be interesting if it carries over. UST is a very strong team and either team can win.