Comeback game, this is what UST Growling Tigers and UE Warriors want to attain in their Saturday (July 13) match. Having the same fate of losing their respective Wednesday games brings them to the same goal – that is to bounce back and pounce on their next opponent’s weakness. The likelihood of Jeric Teng’s absence due to a shoulder injury he incurred from Jeoffrey Javillonar’s unsportsmanlike foul will surely be capitalized by the UE Warriors. On the other hand expect the Tigers to force the Warriors to take their perimeter shots as their chance of making them is only 22.0% (based on UE’s first three games).
Keys to the Game
Revive Season 75 Numbers
Regardless of Teng’s presence in this game, Aljon Mariano and Kareem Abdul must resurrect their last year’s averages. The Tigers have been missing their productions since the start of the season (except for Abdul’s first game against La Salle wherein he banked in a double-double performance). Luckily for UST Kevin Ferrer have been playing spectacular in their last two games, but with this development, I am quite sure that he will be a marked man against the Warriors.
Roi Sumang has been carrying most of the scoring load for the UE Warriors averaging 22.3 points a game, best in the league by far (just a point ahead of Terrence Romeo’s average). What UST has to do now is to put a lot of pressure to Sumang, force him to pass the ball and let his teammates create. It is evident that when Sumang isn’t successful in facilitating their offense, scarcity in point production comes into play. It will be a long night for the UST guards to keep in step with Sumang but if UST can replicate what they have done in the Adamson game, wherein they were really efficient in harassing the ball handler from the back court they might just tire out Sumang and limit his production output.
Welcome Perimeter Shots
The UE Red Warriors have been terrible in their perimeter shots, converting only about a quarter of their attempts. This is one facet of UE’s game that the Tigers should dig into. Tigers’ defense can focus on covering the driving lanes and clogging the paint. Thereby forcing the Warriors to fall in love with their jumpers.
UST Tigers might be shorthanded coming into this game but this could be a source of extra motivation for them to step up and win this battle. Knowing coach Pido Jarencio’s way of motivating his players – Ferrer, Mariano and Abdul might just have a break away game against the Warriors. I’m predicting a win for the Tigers behind the combined heroics of the three mentioned Tigers.