View from the Enemy: FEU Tamaraws

In their penultimate game this season, the winless UP Fighting Maroons will square off with a very motivated FEU Tamaraws, one of the three teams vying for the top spot.

Henry Asilum of UP Fighting Maroons sets up a play in their first round encounter against FEU Tamaraws. (Photo Credit: Pinoy Exchange)

Henry Asilum of UP Fighting Maroons sets up a play during their first round encounter against FEU Tamaraws. (Photo Credit: Pinoy Exchange)

While UP lost (as most people expected) in a low-scoring affair against UST and set some unwanted records along the way, FEU is coming off a very important win against Adamson in a high-scoring contest where Terrence Romeo lit up the scoreboard with a career-high 32 points. In their first round encounter, UP was hounded by their offensive struggles and was eventually trounced by Tamaraws, 57-75. FEU even led as many as 29 points but UP’s reserves put on a late gallant stand to trim the deficit.

Keys to the Game

Avoid a bad start

UP has started decently in their recent games. They even took the lead in the early going, just like against Ateneo and La Salle in the second round. In their first meeting this season, UP allowed FEU to score 10 points in the first three minutes. Unfortunately, the Tamaraws held on and never looked back. So if the Fighting Maroons want to dash FEU’s hopes of getting the number one spot, they have to avoid a bad start and put it all out right from the tipoff.

Rebounds

This game features two teams who are in the lower echelon of the rebounding department. The question now is which team can rebound better in this game. In their first game this season, UP outrebounded FEU by seven, 61-54.

Three pointers

UP and FEU both love jacking up triples so expect a feast from downtown in this game. The last time they met, UP converted only two of their 25 three-point attempts. If UP can strike a better conversion rate than 8 percent in the three-point area, which they are definitely capable of, they can make this game definitely a more interesting affair.

Prediction

History tells us that FEU is one of the only two teams that UP has defeated in three years where they only collected three wins, one less than Adamson’s total this season. But UP appears to have no chance this time. Do not expect FEU to slack off in this game as they are definitely gunning for the victory to snag the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Also, expect the ball to be in Terrence Romeo’s hands most of the time as he tries to accumulate statistical points in his chase to Bobby Ray Parks in the MVP race. I am predicting UP will tally their 13th loss this season. This won’t be close, just like their first round meeting. But the Fighting Maroons won’t be as bad as they were against the Growling Tigers. They’ll definitely score more than 39 points this time. They won’t shot 18.5 percent from the field anymore. FEU over UP by at least 15.