Both the UE Red Warriors (1-2) and the UST Growling Tigers (2-1) are coming off from a loss and will face each other on Saturday (July 13). In their last outing, UST’s Jeric Teng got injured in the first half while UE’s Charles Mammie was suspended for Saturday’s game due to an unsportsmanlike attitude against Adamson’s Roider Cabrera. Both teams will face each other with big losses to their line-up. How will this affect the game?
For the past three games, the Red Warriors have been inconsistent – perimeter shooting is way off but then they became more aggressive in the paint, sometimes they lack the inside presence but was able to convert their jumpers, different players stepped up and played well in different games (with Roi Sumang as the constant player) and more.
Inconsistency + Losing Mammie = not exactly a winning combo.
Keys to the Game
1. Chris Javier needs to fill in big shoes; he needs to match Karim Abdul’s presence in the paint
With Charles Mammie suspended, the task of being the big man will once again fall to Chris Javier’s shoulders. With a touch match-up against Abdul, Javier will have to put in the extra effort of outrebounding Abdul and boxing him out. We can expect the rebounding numbers of UE to go down but Javier must convert his offensive rebounds into points. Something that was lacking in him last season.
2. I don’t know how many times I’ll say this but – more support for Sumang
Sumang almost always has a good game. What makes or breaks the game for UE is how well his teammates will be playing. We haven’t seen any consistency from the perimeter shooters Olivarez and Casajeros, not even good game for Sumido, Jumao-as wowed us with one game but has been quiet since, Santos is not as active in the paint as before, etc.
UST has shooters in Mariano and Bautista so UE’s shooters will have to bring their A-game.
3. More ball movement and actually execute their plays.
Last game was an eye sore – there was no ball movement and no team work. UST has good defenders in Abdul and Ferrer which means UE’s game has to be smarter. They need better floor spacing, use that extra pass and set up a strong pick-and-roll play to be able to drive and score, and occasionally take the jumper.
Even when Sumang is resting on the bench, it’s not a excuse to abandon the plays and just wing things. They have to be more control than chaos on the court.
I’m currently 0 for 3 in predictions but hmmmm… I say that the Warriors will take this game. Teng is a big loss for the Tigers and I’m hoping that at least one more player (aside from Sumang) will come up big in this game. With Charless Mammie suspended, Javier has a big role to fulfill and the win might lie on his ability to protect the paint and battle for the boards.