Sunday, March 6, 2011

S73 Autopsy: UE Red Warriors

Outgoing Players
- Paul Lee (14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2 steals)
- Ezer Rosopa (3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks)
- James Martinez (12.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals)
- Raphy Reyes (7.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals)
- Garrick Ayala, dropped from the team (2 points, 3 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks)
- Sam Razon, possibly out for the season to rehab from his ACL injury though he is back with the team (2.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.8 blocks)

Win/Loss Records
- Season 73: 6-8 (6th)
- Season 72: 10-4 (3rd, lost in the Finals to Ateneo De Manila University)
- Season 71: 9-5 (4th, lost in the Final Four to Ateneo De Manila University)

Key Stats
- Last in the league in opponents' total rebounds allowed (44/game), offensive rebounds allowed (15.43/game) and opponents' defensive rebounds allowed (28.57/game)

Walking away; next season, there won't be any Paul Lee to save UE (pic source)

Season in a Snapshot
The Red Warriors entered the season with Paul Lee recovering from a foot injury, but it was the entire team that played hurt. Though they did manage to end the first round with a single victory, one more than cellar-dwellers UP, they finished dead last in field goal and free throw shooting percentage (both, their own and the percentage they allowed their opponents). Ditto for rebounds.

To their credit though, plus the return of assistant coach Rene Baena, the Warriors rallied, and won 5 out of the 7 games in the second round, including victories against Final Four teams, La Salle, Ateneo and Adamson. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, and they ended the season on the outside, unable to duplicate their Finals run of last season.

Team Needs
- Front court depth, power forwards and centers that provide rebounding and shot blocking
- Someone to assume the go-to-guy role

UE management decided not to renew the contract of Lawrence Chongson, paving the way for UE alum Jerry Codinera to take the helm. Unfortunately, this had the direct effect of Paul Lee opting to bolt for the pros, dramatically reducing the odds of this squad making any noise next season. He'll add a tough, defense-oriented system that will stand in direct contrast to Chongson's free flowing offense.

Look for next season to be a transition season of sorts, not just because of the new coach. The Red Warriors will be adding an array of talented young guards to supplement what they currently have, and if they wax hot, they'll be tough to beat. However, once again they'll be playing without a man in the middle, making it that much more difficult to get open shots and critical rebounds to allow them to get out and run. In other words, expect another up and down year, Red and White.

Projected Recruits
- The big name is scoring point guard Roy/Roi Sumang, a former Letran Squire. While he isn't as adept as Paul Lee in distributing the basketball yet, he's an explosive scorer, despite a 5'10" height, and along with Ken Acibar, is expected to be the lead of the Red Warriors' attack next season (there is some speculation that Sumang will still not be eligible next season, will update this situation when new information has been found)
- 6'3" Jairold Flores played sparingly in Season 71 and 72 for the UE Red Warriors before being placed in Team B last season. He may see a return to Team A this season to boost this team's ceiling
- 6'8" Carlos Ortiz has been on UE's Team B for a while, but he's definitely a strong candidate for promotion to Team A, given the current roster's lack of height. Newer reports say that he was removed from Team B before Coach Chongson's replacement
- A pair of shooters that might see some play are Don Trallano, who is said to be able to play 3/4/5, and can hit three-pointers, and Gene Belleza, a former San Beda Red Cub. Both are currently on UE Team B
- As mentioned in a previous post, UE will be getting four recruits from Cebu Eastern College's high school equivalent. The big name there is Nike Montalvo, the reigning CESAFI juniors division MVP. He'll be another dynamic scorer and playmaker, who might be the James Martinez to Sumang's Paul Lee. Of the other three, Benjamin Soza and Mark Olayan are expected to have stints with Team B, while Roy Villarias will get a shot at Team A.
- UE has two giants in the pipeline. The first is Sudanese Ahmed Isam, while the other is Cameroonian Henri Betayene. There is some confusion as to whether or not Isam will be allowed to play next season, but we'll have a better idea when the preseason begins. Betayene, on the other hand, is definitely only eligible in Season 75 or 2012.
- The Red Warriors management are trying to gauge just how they can sway either Baser Amer or Gino Jumao-as to their side. As of now, both are considered mortal locks to join San Beda and FEU, respectively, but you never quite know with these things
- Instead, they might settle for Von Chavez, adding another gutsy scorer to their line-up. Sumang running point with Montalvo on one wing and Chavez on the other will be a scary proposition for any opponent
- UE also has a Fil-Am recruit named Will Turner, who is more of a defensive stopper than a scorer.
Credit to the blog Tira UE for a lot of information about the school's upcoming recruits

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