Sunday, July 31, 2011


History Lesson:
Current DLSU head coach fought his old team twice last season, and actually split the series between these two squads. In round one, the Archers got a breakout 10 point, 8 rebound, 6 block performance from Papot Paredes. That, combined with 16 points from Maui Villanueva and 15 from Sam Marata, was more than enough to trump the 25 points of Paul Lee, DLSU winning in a blowout, 82-63. Round two was much different though, because this time Paul Lee brought help. The UE senior guard troika of Lee, Raffy Reyes, and James Martinez combined for 49 points, and despite Paredes having another good showing, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, beat DLSU 80-74.

DLSU Storyline : The Archers have positioned themselves at .500 after four games, and are aching to end the round on the positive side of things. This team is still wildly inconsistent though, especially on the offense. Last Thursday's game was the best example of this, as the Archers got out to a blistering hot start, shooting 60-plus percent at the half, before missing all of their field goals in the third, and the first five in the fourth quarter. The good news though is that coach Dindo Pumaren may have found an optimal starting five to build around: LA Revilla, Simon Atkins, Joseph Marata, Maui Villanueva, Arnold Van Opstal. The one fly in that ointment has been the (non)shooting of Atkins (18.52%), but at least he makes up for it somewhat on defense. 
Stat to Watch : What was unusual about La Salle's Jekyll and Hyde shooting performance against the NU Bulldogs was the fact that they went ice cold against the league's worst defense, as NU allows their opponents 42% shooting. UE's a tad better, allowing 38% shooting, but the Archers should still beware of extended scoring droughts, as UE might take better advantage of any 0/10 quarters from DLSU.
Player to Watch : Since claiming the starting power forward position, Maui Villanueva has been on a tear, putting up numbers similar to his production from last season. In the two games he's been in the first five, he's averaged 7.5 points on 46% shooting, 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.8 blocks in just 20 minutes. He's an excellent match-up against the smaller UE forwards who rely more on athleticism than brute strength.

UE Storyline : The Red Warriors sank to 0-5 thanks to another blowout loss, this time to the Adamson Soaring Falcons. There's truly not a lot one can say about this squad, except that head coach Jerry Codinera is desperately trying to see who can play and who can't by fielding in all sorts of odd combinations. The problem is, none are really working, and while there is a big difference between the summer tournaments and the UAAP, shouldn't all of this experimentation had been done a few months ago (of course, case in point, RR De Leon didn't see a single minute of play in the Fil-Oil tournament, now he's started two games).
Stat to Watch : The Red Warriors have not been having a lot of success on offense, averaging a league-worst 57.2 points a game, the only team to average less than 60 points in fact, and part of the problem stems from an inability to hit outside shots. The Warriors average just 1.8 triples out of 13 attempts a game, for a ridiculous 14% for downtown. That allows opponents to just pack the paint, cutting off driving lanes, and making UE take contested mid-range jumpers. 
Player to Watch : It's surprising to me that Adrian Santos has not been getting more minutes, averaging just 20.6 a game despite putting up 6.2 points on 50% shooting and 7.4 rebounds. The fact is, aside from Roi Sumang (22 minutes), Chris Javier (22.6 minutes) and Paul Zamar (24.2) minutes, no other Red Warriors averages 21 or higher. Coach Jerry Codinera ought to experiment with giving players longer stints to see how they react. It's not like he has anything to lose at this point right?

Prediction: DLSU Green Archers

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