View from the Enemy: FEU Tamaraws
It’s another opening game for the UE Red Warriors but I’m pretty confident it won’t end the way it did last season (the Red Warriors lost to the hosts, Bulldogs, by a whopping 35 points). Fresh from the FilOil championship, the Warriors are ready to take on their first obstacle – the FEU Tamaraws.
Last season, the Tamaraws beat the Red Warriors in both meetings – they lost at the rim, they weren’t getting rebounds and can’t finish their shots. At that time, the Warriors lacked a big man (Chris Javier was more of a four, forced to be the big man) who can attack the post and get rebounds for them. They also weren’t the best team when it comes to perimeter shooting and transition plays. The roster changes are answered prayers for the Red Warriors, now they just have to keep their turnovers to a minimum and Sumang has to utilize the new talent on the floor.
Keys to the Game
- Outrebound the opponent. The Tamaraws have a smaller frontcourt line-up and the Red Warriors should capitalize on that by boxing out the opponent and outrebounding them. This way, the Tamaraws will have less chances to extend their possessions and turn them into points from their perimeter shooters. We can expect Charles Mammie and Adi Santos to take on this responsibility.
- Perimeter Defense. FEU is a guard-driven team – their damage usually comes from the perimeter. They have shooters in RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo, who averaged 43.5% 2PT/25.6% 3PT and 43.7% 2PT/34.0% 3PT, respectively, last season. UE must guard this area and force the Tamaraws to turn the ball over by applying pressure, make them take the harder, contested shots – just don’t let them get their rhythm.
- Attack the post. Both the Red Warriors and Tamaraws produce a good number of points from the perimeter which is why it’s key for the Warriors to also produce from the post. This will give them the advantage since the Tamaraws are a smaller line-up. Roi Sumang will probably be heavily guarded but they can use this to their advantage; it’s up to JR Sumido and Gino Jumao-as to really produce from the perimeter.
The Tamaraws will give one hell of a fight, shooting treys here and there and it will most likely be a close game, but the Red Warriors will come out victorious.
The game will be on Saturday, January 29, 2:00pm at the SM MOA Arena.