Coming into the game, FEU was averaging 82.6 ppg while UST was allowing 67.0 points per game. It was interesting to see the conflicting styles of a high-powered offense of FEU go against the grind-it-out defense of UST. An unstoppable force meeting an immovable object.
FEU and UST were also very different in their approach to this game. It became an inside versus outside game. UST was pounding the ball inside and passing up open threes to get to the hole. On the other hand, FEU was continuing their three point party and perimeter shots. Both teams were at each other’s throats. When one would score, the other would answer right back with a bucket. The game sang to the tune of 15 lead changes and 5 deadlocks by the half. UST was beasting inside with 20 points in the paint while FEU was countering with 27 perimeter points.
It was in the third quarter where FEU had signs that they might pull away. They shot an awesome 62.5% from the field in the third quarter but the ever so dangerous UST Tigers were still lurking for a comeback.
In the end, the Growling Tigers shot horribly in the fourth quarter and this led to the eventual collapse of the team. They shot 13.3% in the quarter. The Tigers also shot a combined 15/24 from the line and could’ve used all those missed charities.
Reviewing Keys to the Game
Share the ball
The FEU Tamaraws had 20 assists this game. They were sharing the ball and setting people up for threes. It was nice to see everyone getting involved. This team kind of reminds me of the mid 2000’s Phoenix Suns with the high-powered offense, running the fastbreak everytime and taking the quick three when they are open. It’s very exciting basketball. Garcia and Tolomia accounted for 13 of their 20 assists. The ball movement was just great and the players were unselfish. What more can I say, they’re at their best when they’re playing that way.
The Four Horsemen
Ed Daquioag was the only one who struggled to produce from the big four. Aljon Mariano had a quiet 10 points and 12 rebounds which was pretty nice. Abdul and Ferrer did most of the damage and were eating the FEU bigmen inside. They had their way in the paint for most of the game. They finished with a combined 39 points and 18 rebounds. Both of them missed crucial charities though they shot a combined 9/18 from the free throw line. I would like to see FEU put a body on Abdul and Ferrer more because they had a lot of points coming from open offensive putbacks. I didn’t think they did a good job containing the big four.
The Other Guys
“Guys who might not be superstars but because of their hustle, because of the little things they do, these are the guys who can really mean the difference between winning and losing.”
– Dwyane Wade
I’m especially proud of this key. A big reason of why FEU has a 6-0 start is because of their role players. There’s always this fourth guy who steps up and all the other guys contribute in a lot of little ways that end up big in UAAP games. Belo ended up with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Mendoza hit two big triples, Pogoy hit a triple and had 7 big rebounds. Sentcheu blocked three shots and changed a lot of the UST attempts. Hargrove played decent defense on Abdul which lead him to be exhausted when the fourth quarter came around. If you consistently watch FEU, you’ll come to notice they’re not just a team of Romeo, Garcia, Tolomia and no one else. The FEU role players are legit. They do all the little things really well, whether it be scrambling for loose balls, playing solid defense or getting crucial offensive rebounds. You’ll come to realize that these role players play hard and do this every game.
Nash Racela has always had interesting quotes this season and here’s a medley of his post-game quotes. Via GMANews
“6-0 is the same as 1-0. It’s one thing I have learned as a coach”
“6-0 doesn’t guarantee anything. Those are just numbers.”
“I think it’s getting better [their teamwork]. It’s a work in progress I always say that”
“Basta importante sa amin is we sustain. That’s the biggest question eh, the consistency, the sustainability, kasi even all of us, with our personal lives, we’re not consistent.”
“That’s something I appreciate about our players, they make the extra pass”
It’s still a long way to go but I have a feeling Coach Nash will be one of the good coaches in the UAAP.
6-0 just sounds so good. One win away from a first round sweep. Coach Nash will try to keep his boys motivated against an Adamson team capable of beating anyone. We’ll see what happens.