View from the Enemy: UE Red Warriors

September 2, 2012. UP and UE were tied at 76. With two seconds remaining in the ballgame, Roi Sumang, along with his sideburns, went to the left and found center Chris Javier on the left wing. Javier then knocked down his first-ever triple over the stretched right arm of Raul Soyud. 79-76. Buzzer sounded. Game over.

UP (Photo Credit: brosigonzalesnow.blogspot.com)

The heartbreaking triple from Chris Javier. (Photo Credit: brosigonzalesnow.blogspot.com)

That was really a painful loss to take. UP could have doubled their number of victories in Season 75 with that coulda-woulda-shoulda win. They will have an opportunity to avenge that very bitter loss as they face the streaking Red Warriors on July 27 at the Araneta Coliseum.

After tallying back-to-back wins last week, the Red Warriors (3-3) are certainly pumped up to finish the first round on a high note as they jockey for a Final Four position. Meanwhile, the Fighting Maroons are attempting to get their first victory this season and snap a thirteen-game skid dating back to August 25, 2012. Ironically, UP’s last victory came against UE in a 63-48 blowout, two weeks prior to the beginning of this long losing streak.

Keys to the Game

Take Mammie out of the paint
ORB% DRB% TRB%
UP 33.6 57.8 45.0
UE 40.4 60.3 50.2

Rebounding will be a tall task for the Fighting Maroons in this encounter as UE will be bannered by Sierra Leone native Charles Mammie who collects 24% of the available rebounds. While UP will rely on their slotman Raul Soyud, who returns after a one-game suspension. The best thing for UP to do in order to limit Mammie’s rebounding domination is to take him outside the paint. With his decent midrange game, Soyud should force Mammie to go out of the paint. Chris Ball is also a far better rebounder than UE’s other bigs in Javier and Adrian Santos.

Third quarter storm

In their game against UST, the Fighting Maroons had a poor third quarter. UST salvaged some easy points after UP turned the ball one possession after the other. They also allowed a lot of offensive rebounds which the Growling Tigers translated into second chance points.

They say good teams come out strong in the third quarter as they make some necessary adjustments during the halftime break. The only time UP had a decent third quarter this season was against NU as they came out energized and revitalized.  If UP wants to be considered as a good team, they have to make the necessary adjustments in the locker room for them to have a good third quarter.

Make Sumang work on both ends
Season 76 Stats PPG MPG AST% USG% TS eFG
Roi Sumang 20.5 (2nd) 33.7 (1st) 24% 26% 54% 47%

Roi Sumang cannot be stopped. No opposing team this season has found the right antidote to contain his prowess. Even in his worst game this season, against Ateneo, he managed to pull off the dagger in the closing moments. He’s even number two on our MVP Watch for the third week in a row.

With that said, the only thing UP can do is to make him work hard for his numbers. Luckily, UP has some good defenders who can share the task of containing him like Agustin Amar, Kyle Suarez and Moriah Gingerich. On the defensive side, UP point guards should run through the screens whenever he is guarding them so he gets tired.

Prediction

This game will be close and will go down the wire. Do not be surprised if there will be late game heroics, just like in their previous face off. UP will get another good contribution from role players like Jason Ligad and Chris Ball. If Soyud will be able to keep up with Mammie, then UP has a real shot. I’ll be audacious and go with UP notching their first W of the season.