View from the Enemy: De La Salle Green Archers
Defense wins championship would be UST’s mantra in their campaign for season 76. The primary question for the Tigers is – Can the UST big three of Karim Abdum, Aljon Mariano, and Jeric Teng deliver and secure the title that slipped away last UAAP season?
|Norbert Torres||<||Karim Abdul|
|Almond Vosotros||<||Jeric Teng|
|Jeron Teng||>||Kevin Ferrer|
|Jeron Teng||<||Aljon Mariano|
|LA Revilla||>||Clark Bautista/ Edcor Marata|
Match-up to Watch Out For
Clash of the Titans would be the theme of Norbert Torres and Karim Abdul matchup. Expect Abdul to muscle his way inside the shaded area, causing Torres to have his hands full defending, scoring against, and jockeying for position against the Cameroonian. Abdul just simply dominated Torres in every department last season. He averaged are 16.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 2 blocks while his counterpart averaged 8.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 0.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks. Advantage: Karim Abdul
Keys to the Game
- Familiarity of the coaches and players. The magnitude of the sudden changes in coaching staff of DLSU can’t be denied. This will definitely play a major factor in the outcome of the game and it’s a situation that highly favors the Tigers. It can be said that Jarencio has the whole Thomasian community on his back while Juno Sauler still has to prove his worth and needs to earn his player’s trust as well. It is as if Sauler is working inside the Big Brother house wherein all his actions are watched, analyzed or worst, scrutinized.
- Dominance Inside the Paint. Inside presence will be critical. Based on the two games that DLSU and UST played against each other in Season 75, the Tigers had 26 more free throw attempts (FTA) than Archers. Meaning UST was able to impose their presence inside and were able to put themselves in situations wherein they can score – be it on a lay-up or a free throw attempt. Another statistic that supports UST’s dominance inside can be seen during the time they won, which saw them have a double-digit advantage in the rebounding department. Once they establish their inside game, the defense clogged the inside, allowing UST’s shooters to roam around rainbow country. The UST shooters are confident in their range and even if they missed, they would have a high chance of getting the offensive rebound due to their inside advantage. This resulted into more three pointers attempted and a better three-point percentage (3PT%) compared to DLSU. In Game 2, in which UST won, they attempted 21 three-point shots hitting on 33.3% of them, while DLSU only attempted 14 3 point shots making just 14.3% of them.
- Value a possession. Even before the departure of Jeric Fortuna from the Tigers line up, the Taft cagers were better at this. UST averaged almost four more turnovers (TO) a game than DLSU, which is bad news since the Archers are good at converting turnovers into points. During their two meetings in Season 75, Archers were able to score 4.5 more points from turnovers than the Tigers. Now, without Fortuna, it is expected that these numbers to favor even more to DLSU.
As mentioned earlier, DLSU’s sudden coaching changes is a huge drawback to them. With the new coaches still figuring out the character of the team, how to utilize the players and so on, I expect the DLSU players to play like blind-folded men on the court. Karim Abdul dominating the paint will be UST’s bread and butter. UST wins this one.