It was an upsetting loss by the UE Red Warriors. Coming into this game, the Warriors were tagged as early favorites, having won the preseason championship.
In the first quarter, it did seem like an almost obvious win for the Warriors. The Warriors took control of the game and spurred on to an early 10-point lead, 21-11. They dominated the boards with 19 rebounds (of which seven were offensive rebounds) to FEU’s 11 (four offensive rebounds).
It started spiraling down in the second quarter, the Red Warriors were outscored. Without even looking at the numbers, you’ll see the red shirts missing shots from… anywhere. It didn’t help that FEU’s Terrence Romeo warmed up and played unselfishly – he attacked the paint, shot from beyond the arc and just dominated the ball game.
Review of the Keys of the Game
- Outrebound the Opponent. The Red Warriors did this pretty well in the first quarter. We saw Adi Santos and Charles Mammie grab five boards each. Chris Javier also did well, contributing three boards and scoring from the low post. After that good quarter, the Warriors activity at the paint lessened. Santos and Mammie were silenced to one rebound each. In the end, the Warriors did win the rebounding game but it proved to be quite useless when their shots just won’t fall through.
- Perimeter Defense. Now this where things get dirty. The FEU Tamaraws did a good job at defending the perimeter and the Red Warriors were harassed and were forced to take long jumpers (that well… missed). Sumido struggled big time from the perimeter, shooting a horrible 12.5% from the field and just one out of five from the stripe. Only Sumang (with 22 points) and Olivarez (with 16 points) contributed significantly to the team. Compare that to FEU’s shooting: we have four players scoring in double figures – Romeo with a whopping 23 and Garcia with 18 points, among others. Most of those points came from the perimeter.
- Attack the Post. The Red Warriors made a serious attempt at attacking the post, with 48.6% of their shots attempted at the rim. However, they were only able to make 16 out of 36 shots fall through. The early foul trouble for Mammie didn’t help the team; Coach Boycie was forced to sit him on the bench with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter. He’s got to play smarter as the Red Warriors are depending on him to score baskets at the post, being in foul trouble for most of the game time will definitely limit his production.
It is only the first game for the season and they still have 13 more games to show us the basketball brilliance they displayed in the preseason. But, in order to do that, this team MUST work on their perimeter shooting. I think this could make or break this team’s game and they can’t always count on Sumang on deliver all the points for the team.
Sumido needs to step up his offense and make those shots, Mammie needs to keep his cool and control his play, Santos has to make his presence count and score more in the paint and the bench needs to step up and help their starters. It’s a lot of work for the Red Warriors but if they’re serious and determined enough to bag another championship, they’ve got to put in the work.