Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Burning Questions: DLSU vs NU 5/25/2011

#1 Which team has their rotation down?
Both teams have just completed their summer training programs, and with the UAAP less than two months away, one might think that the two sides' respective coaches now have a better idea of who's going to get minutes and who isn't. While that's not to say that we might not see some experimental line-ups, I just feel that, if you're still playing 13 to 14 players a game at this point in time, in a non-blowout situation, that might speak to some uncertainty within the organization.

#2 Which team can beat the zone?
La Salle has traditionally had difficulties facing zone defenses, while NU has suffered in this tournament against that same scheme. I feel strongly that the team that does more than just swing the ball around the perimeter, looking for a triple, has a better chance of winning this game, and doing well come UAAP time.

#3 Which team can get out in transition more?
You think La Salle basketball and you think scoring opportunities off their press, but there's a well-known basketball chestnut that says, "teams that love to press, hate to be pressed." We saw before the Archers left for Chicago Calvin Abueva streaking from one end of the court to the other, scoring at will against the smaller DLSU guards. Bobby Ray Parks is of a similar body type, but he's bigger, faster, and a better shooter. He could very well be in for a big game.

#4 Which team can control the boards more?
Last UAAP season, NU's Emmanuel Mbe posted a pair of impressive double-doubles, powering the Bulldogs to a season split versus the Archers. We're still uncertain if Mbe will play this game, but he'd be a game changer if he does. On the other hand, DLSU has added three big rookies to their frontcourt in Arnold Van Opstal, Ponso Gotladera, and Norbert Torres. Van Opstal in particular, has been a big boost, pulling down 5.3 in just 12.3 minutes. If both teams go to the zone a lot more, those boards become much more important and could lead to more transition opportunities

#5 Minor questions
Will the Archers suffer from their usual post-Chicago trip malaise? ...Will NU keep riding rookie Cedric Labing-isa or will we see the more experienced Joseph Terso? ...How is the DLSU morale after all the defections? ...Can Simon Atkins snap out of his slump? ...Is NU big man AJ Henson with the squad and is he eligible for this season? ...Can Kyle Neypes contribute anything to this NU team? ...Are the Archers seriously considering bringing back Ferdinand or James Mangahas to be their 16th man? ...Does NU still have a surprise recruit up their sleeve?

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