They were almost there. Down by 18, they came back running and determined to tie the game for the overtime – and it seemed like it would end there, they were making the shots they couldn’t in regulation and it was almost their fifth straight win. Almost, but not quite. The Tamaraws are quite the resilient players and they were able to force it into a double overtime and sealed the game for good.
By the Numbers
It was one hell of a comeback that fell short – completely opposite of what happened in Round 1 where they had the lead for most part of the game only to lose it.
Individual Offensive Ratings
Review of the Keys to the Game
1. Perimeter Defense
In the first quarter alone, the FEU Tamaraws shot 5 of 12 from the three-point line – two for Romeo, one each for Tolomia, Cruz and Mendoza. At the end of the game, they shot 14 of 41 (34.1%) from the three-point line.
The defense was too focused on Romeo, especially after he made those two triples in the first quarter. The line-up where Olivares was tasked to guard Romeo with Casajeros/Sumang/Mammie out of the court was quite a disaster — Olivares could not keep up with Romeo AT ALL and could not get the ball past him. The defense locked in on Romeo, similar to how defenses collapse on Sumang when he’s driving to the basket, but the difference here is that FEU is a great three-point shooting team — you cannot stray to far away from your mark because they can and will shoot the three ball.
UE’s defense in general was just a sight for sore eyes. Everybody looked lost and was moving all over the place leaving Tamaraws wide open and thus resulting into several triples from the FEU players.
Definitely not a check.
2. Mammie needs to keep his feet on the paint
Despite the 17 points and 27 rebounds (seven offensive) he amassed in this double overtime game, I think Mammie played one of his worst games.Okay, qualifying that as the worst defensively.
Mammie was slow to recover in the transition and the Tamaraws used that to their advantage by attacking the paint early in the shot clock. It’s his eight (he was suspended for one game) game of the season but his rawness is still very much evident — he is powerful, yes, but his timing is a bit off and he doesn’t position himself well for an easier rebound. He had a lot of defensive lapses — often, he would vacate the shaded area to stick to Hargrove/Sentcheu who aren’t exactly jump shooters. This allowed FEU to cut to the paint for the easy lay-up.
Half check here.
3. Play their game — shoot those threes!
Five over 28, a dismal 17.2 percent from the three-point line.
It wasn’t because FEU applied a lot of pressure on the perimeter but more of UE hurrying to throw the ball from the rainbow area. They weren’t setting up plays to find an open man for the three. There were a lot of attempts wherein there were still 8-10 seconds left in the shot clock — plenty of time to move the ball and find a better shot.
They were chucking shot after shot. Volume shooting is good but when your shots aren’t falling in, you’ve got to do something about it – not just hope that maybe one of the shots will go in. Guilty as charged are Olivares, Jumao-as and Noble. As for that four consecutive plays that involved Sumang driving to the left and kicking the ball out to Galanza for the corner right three, I don’t know why they had to continuously do that even after three missed shots from Galanza.
No checks here, mate.
- UE really needs to work on their spacing and their rotations — unnecessary “soft” double teams which leaves at least one player for the open look and with FEU, it’s going to be an open three. Case in point, Tolomia’s first three was due to Alberto double teaming a Tamaraw (I think that was Aguilon) unnecessarily leaving Carl Cruz wide open so when he got the ball off a pass, Sumang was forced to leave Tolomia to put pressure on Cruz and well, Cruz passed to Tolomia for the wide open trey.
- It is worth noting that Sumang was not 100% in that game, according to Katz Salao, he was feeling under the weather. No wonder those usual Sumang crazy drives weren’t falling in (…or am I only biased? HAHAHA).
- Casajeros did a fine job trying to defend and stick to Romeo. Seriously, it’s like he’s glued to Romeo which was just enough to force him to pass the ball.
- I think UE should make more offensive sets that will run through JM Noble. With enough off-ball movement, UE can create enough space for him to post up and maybe do those up-and-under shots he usually does.
This game was both physically exhausting and mentally draining. You could see it in the second overtime – players were slow to recover, shots lacked the power it needed, their legs giving up on them (Romeo and Sumang both suffered cramps in their hamstrings) and more. The Red Warriors have been desperately trying to catch up to the Tamaraws since the second quarter and in the last stretch, the FEU Tamaraws had just enough composure and stamina left to finally win the game, 98-94.