Can La Salle finally go back to the promise land?
La Salle will try to book the first ticket to the Finals as the De La Salle Green Archers take on the FEU Tamaraws. This is the official start of the Final Four series between the two teams. La Salle defeated FEU, 74-69, last Saturday in a playoff game to determine who gets the twice-to-beat advantage. They controlled that game from start to finish and even led by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter. However, FEU made a furious rally and cut the lead all the way down to five. In the end, LA Revilla saved the day for the Archers with a crucial three-pointer with 55 seconds to go to seal the win for the Green and White.
Keys to the Game
Limit the turnovers
During the last few minutes of the third quarter, Thomas Torres gave up several turnovers allowing the Tamaraws to cut the huge lead. Jeron Teng was able to salvage the quarter but making several free throws at the end of the period, maintaining the La Salle lead and providing the momentum they needed to push for victory in the last quarter.
This shows how the Archers can be complacent when they’re in the lead – huge one that is – and how the opposing team are quick to pick up of their complacency. Overall, the Archers had 14 turnovers, three from Torres alone.
Improve the interior defense
La Salle allowed 19 (of 35) two-point field goals for a high 54.3 percent. Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia made a couple of layups against the half court defense of the Archers. The front court of Jason Perkins, Norbert Torres and Arnold Van Opstal needs to do a better job of defending the paint.
Show killer instinct!
It is now time for La Salle to show everyone that they have the killer instinct needed to finish the raging Tamaraws. They shouldn’t be complacent just because they earned a twice-to-beat advantage. With teams vying for the Finals spot, it’s easy for the top seeders to fall prey to complacency. For one, the Tigers forced the Bulldogs (who had a twice-to-beat advantage) into a do-or-die game for the other Finals spot. This is not a position that La Salle would want to be in.
La Salle should play with the attitude of “winning,” not just “not losing,” if you get my drift. Fortunately, La Salle has been holding off rallies since the start of the second round, but you can only hold off so many runs and eventually, the other team just might catch up.
This is it folks! La Salle is just one win away from the Finals. One win away from their first finals appearance since 2008! That seems like a long time ago, right? Sure, there was Facebook already then, but it wasn’t that popular yet then. During that time, we do not live tweet games, we do not tweet about everything and anything we do, we don’t Instagram our food or our outfits for the day.
2008 was just five years ago, but in a way, it seems like a long time ago. The only player on the Green Archers who has Finals experience is LA Revilla, who was a rookie bench player on that 2008 team led by JV Casio and Rico Maierhofer. Now, Revilla is considered as one of the leaders of this team. It is time for this team to take the next step. Last year, the goal was to make it to the Final Four. This year, we should aspire for something higher. I expect La Salle to win this Wednesday and book the first finals ticket!