There were two losing streaks then. One finally stops while the other lives on at least for another gameday. Unfortunately for the UP Fighting Maroons, it was their skid that will continue as they were outclassed by fellow strugglers Adamson Soaring Falcons, 53-67. To mark their tenth loss this season, here are ten things about the game that had happened.
1. The Soaring Falcons started strong despite the absence of Jericho Cruz. Maybe his absence give more fluidity in Falcons’ offense as he handles the ball most of the time in their possessions. Without him, it paved way for more opportunities for wing players like Roider Cabrera and Jansen Rios to which they capitalized, combing for 17 of AdU’s 20 first quarter points.
2. Their wing players proved to be the key to their victory. In the second quarter, it was Celedonio Trollano Jr. (always complete name when you mention him) who pumped up some offense for them, scoring nine points. From them on, Adamson just controlled the game while UP never really mounted any serious fightback.
3. There was lack of ball movement on the part of UP as they only tallied six assists. Only six. That is one less than Ryan Monteclaro’s total. There were a lot of one-on-one plays just like in the second half in their loss to DLSU. Henry Asilum was not looking for open teammates. Well, the same applies to his backup Andres Desiderio. He was instead looking for his shots. That can be said also to Raul Soyud and of course, Joseph Marata.
4. Fifty-three points marks the lowest output of UP this season. They shot a low 30.4% from the field, below their season average of 34.6%. It also didn’t help their chances that the pace of the game was slow (~73 possessions).
5. In relation to number four, Coach Rey Madrid actually wants to speed things up. Unfortunately, that did not happen much. They were able only to have six fastbreak attempts, scoring only nine from those chances.
6. There is no doubt Raul Soyud was UP’s best player in this game. He was relentless on both ends of the court. However, it seemed like his teammates are not having the same intensity as he’s displaying. The graduating center put up 17 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks while matching the mammoth in Ingrid Sewa. Due to Soyud’s activity, Adamson was forced to take Sewa out for some time because he cannot match the intensity and mobility of Soyud.
7. And how about UP’s so-called main gunner? Well, Joseph Marata had a hard time against his defenders in Petilos and Trollano. Marata was given limited space to take down those three-pointers he loves to drain as he only attempted five (lower than his average of 8.8 attempts per game). He was forced to take the ball inside and shoot those inside shots that he’s not really accustomed to.
8. The two leading candidates for the Rookie of the Year honors did not disappoint as they pushed their respective cases for the award. In 16 minutes, Axel Iñigo put up four points, four rebounds and an assist. On the other hand, UP’s Kyles Lao, the leading contender, tallied eight points and a rebound. It would be nicer if they were given more playing time.
9. The Fighting Maroons have not defeated the Soaring Falcons in the last ten games they matched up. The last time UP won against them was in 2008 when Miley Cyrus was still a legitimate icon of young girls while Janet Napoles had just founded another NGO.
10. This season also marks the seventh consecutive time that UP will have at least ten losses in a season. The last time we had less than ten losses was in 2006 (4-8 win-loss record) when DLSU was disqualified. Noynoy Aquino was still a senator at that time. Kevin Durant was not yet in the NBA. And iPhone was not yet released.
UP has enjoyed the lead for one minute and 42 seconds early in the first quarter. That was it for them. Adamson suddenly took over and never looked back.
Review of the Keys of the Game
A Sewa explosion was bound to happen soon. Unfortunately, it came against UP. Without Jericho Cruz, he was given more touches to which he capitlaized as he scored 18 points and 15 boards. Sewa also performed decently at the charity stripe, knocking down six of eight attempts. UP’s frontcourt really had a hard time keeping up with him aside from Soyud. And surprisingly, Coach Madrid did not put up his reserve center Andrew Harris to bang bodies with Sewa. Martin Pascual was consciously taking Sewa out of the paint in UP’s offense but he had hard time on the defensive end.
2. Tale of the three-pointers
It was a tragedy as the Fighting Maroons shot only 4-16 from downtown. There seems to be a conscious effort by Adamson take away the three-point game from the Fighting Maroons. UP, in their two games against AdU this season, has only attempted 14.5 threes per game. This is lower to their average of 26 attempts they took in the other eight games they played this season.
Once again, the Soaring Falcons dominated the battle of boards, 55-37. Aside from Soyud who had 14 and Chris Ball who had eight, there is little contribution from the other Fighting Maroons in the rebounding department. Unfortunately, this has been a recurring theme for UP in this season.
It was really a lack of effort from the team. It seemed like it was only Soyud who was putting all up in this game. Everyone else were just like robots who entered the court against their will. It was really disappointing. This could have been a closer affair given the string of poor performances by the Soaring Falcons. Let’s get past this horrible game and go on the next one.