San Marcelino has finally gotten a night of silence. No more practice, no more rehearsals. The drums, the cheers will be heard in Araneta Coliseum. It’s game time!
First up for this new band of Adamson Soaring Falcons is the team which they narrowly lost to twice last season, the UST Growling Tigers. This much anticipated first game will determine one of two things, if this will be an exciting season, or yet again another long one.
The Growling Tigers are not a team to be looked over, though they aren’t an unbeatable foe for these young Falcons. With Karim Abdul still in the lineup (yup, you read that right), UST can still count on this paint behemoth to carry the load. With a 91.2 offensive rating last season, there’s no doubt that UST will do all it can to feed Abdul inside. He not only contributes to their offense, but his ability to block shots will also spell trouble for the Falcons.
For the Falcons to make it a contest, it’s imperative that they commit to stopping the offensive production of Abdul. Make someone else beat them. Given the chance, they should force the ball to Ed Daquioag. Compared to Abdul, Daquioag only managed a smaller 76.1 offensive rating last season. Just take their chances at letting a less efficient scorer dictate the tempo.
The Falcons shooters have to be ready to pull the trigger if they want to keep UST’s defense off balance. Driving to the hoop might be more costly as Abdul’s 5.6% block rating is pretty intimidating. Not to mention that other Tigers Jeepy Faundo and Louie Vigil have proven to be pretty good shot blockers as well. Taking an open mid-range jumper will be less risky than taking the contested layup.
Conditions for winning
- Lower the usage rating of Karim Abdul to less than 15%
- Force the usage rating of Ed Daquioag to 25%
- Shoot at least 40% from the field
- Shoot at least 30% from the three-point line
If all goes well, this will be a tight fought game. A lot of Falcons are new to this league, so first game jitters are bound to show up, hopefully they can shake them off in time.
Whether it becomes an exciting season or a long one doesn’t necessarily rest on whether or not they win, it will depend how they respond to the problems they will face against UST.
TV: LIVE ON ABS-CBN SPORTS AND ACTION
TIME: 4:00 PM
VENUE: ARANETA COLISEUM