Sunday, August 28, 2011

One Day Later: ADU vs UP, FEU vs NU

Higher ceiling - the Falcons soared over a tenacious UP team (pic source)

ADU 64 - UP 51
Recap - - - Preview

Player of the Game : With Alex Nuyles and Lester Alvarez having off-nights (combined 6 of 20 from the field), Janus Lozada stepped up to the plate to score 16 points on 50 percent field goal shooting, and a 5 for 6 free throw clip, while also pulling down nine rebounds. His combination of size, leaping ability and quick release gave UP fits as they couldn't match-up against him, especially considering how they already had Mike Silungan on Nuyles.

ADU Positives :
  • The story of this game was UP getting close or taking the lead, and then Adamson responding in kind with huge runs. No doubt, head coach Leo Austria was happy to see the Falcons tested and respond in kind multiple times to boot. 
  • Austin Manyara stepped up to the plate, outplaying his counterpart on the other end Alinko Mbah, scoring his first career double-double, with 13 points and 12 rebounds. If he can become a more reliable scorer and threat down low, the Falcons become a much more dangerous team. 
  • Led by Manyara's 12 boards, Adamson dominated the glass, getting a 53-32 rebounding edge, 17-9 on offensive rebounds. That translated into 11 second chance points, compared to just four by UP.
  • Tight defense once again was the difference for Adamson, holding the Maroons to their lowest percentage from downtown in the second round, 15 percent.
ADU Negatives :
  • The Falcons soared out to an 11-2 lead...and then scored just two more points the entire first quarter. That's the sort of lapse on offense that another team would punish Adamson for, so they're lucky it was just UP they were playing against. 

UP Positives :
  • Well, the Maroons were able to get Jett Manuel back online again, as the sophomore shooter knocked in 11 points, all in the second half, eight coming in the fourth quarter. He struggled early on due to the length of Janus Lozada, but settled down late. 
UP Negatives :
  • Mike Silungan is now 5 of 39 from beyond the arc in the second round. He also happens to be 0 for 16 in the last two games. 
  • Linked to that, the Maroons continued to settle for outside shots, refusing to attack the rim. As a result, UP tallied just six free throw attempts, their third straight game in the second round with single digit free throw attempts. They lead the league in that category, with four.
  • After starting the season norming 17.6 fastbreak points in their first five games, the Maroons have averaged just 9.33 in that category since.

FEU 84 - NU 82
Recap - - - Preview

Player of the Game : In a game chock-full of flawed performance, we'll go off the board here and hand this award to Ping Exciminiano. Though he played just 14 minutes, Exciminiano managed to score 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting to go with three rebounds and a steal. Exciminiano also gave Bobby Ray Parks a difficult time, shadowing the taller, more athletic forward. While one can rightfully argue that he misused his fouls, thus getting him sat down with a minute to go in the third quarter, it was Flores' fault for leaving him out there so long in the first place.

FEU Positives :
  • Multiple-overtime cliche #1: "You're just happy to have survived it." Maybe, but you're going to feel a lot better about it if you win, which is what happened for the Tamaraws, keeping them in step with Adamson as they threaten to steal the number two spot. 
  • When NU went to a zone, FEU decided to break it with some three-pointers, a fairly typical response, except that they were getting the treys from their big men, as Aldrech Ramos and Russel Escoto combined to go 4/4 from outside the arc. They actually did much better than Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, who were 2 of 11 from long-distance.
  • The odds were horrible stacked against FEU, what with three guys out and then RR Garcia suffering some sort of hand injury that messed up his shooting, followed of course by Exciminiano's early exit. And yet, the Tams still won, and they have a full week to recuperate to boot. 
  • FEU just valued their possessions more, committing just 15 turnovers, while assisting on more than half of their scores (33 field goals on 18 dimes). That stood out, compared to the panicked feel from the NU players.
FEU Negatives :
  • Terrence Romeo's statline says he finished with no turnovers. Fine, but he committed a boneheaded foul on Bobby Ray Parks in the second overtime, sending him to the line where he luckily produced just a split, saving Romeo from public humiliation or something. He even had great numbers in this game, 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, all of which would have been thrown out the window had they lost because of him.
  • The Tamaraws clearly needed more big men up front, as they lost the rebounding battle pretty closely, 46-44, but more importantly, not a single person had double-digit boards, not even Gilas mainstay Aldrech Ramos.

NU Positives :
  • The Bulldogs hung with FEU in the first two quarters, despite losing Emmanuel Mbe to foul trouble, and then proceeded to take the lead in the third quarter thanks to some shutdown defense. If NU played more like that throughout the season, they would have been in much better shape than they are now. 
  • Despite not winning the game, Bobby Ray Parks still had a great performance that even had some clutch moments. He attained a new season high, 32 points, through 7 of 18 field goal shooting, but more importantly, 15 of 18 free throw shooting. And after game after game of him settling for outside jumper over and over in past crunchtime situations, Parks walked the fine line of driving, shooting and passing off.
NU Negatives :
  • NU currently leads the league in turnovers, and it showed versus FEU as their 21 errors became 23 points for the Tams. We saw FEU disrupt the NU offense with a 2-1-2 fullcourt press in the third quarter, and it amazes me that head coach Eric Altamirano kept forcing his shooty guards into trying to bring the ball up, instead of putting Parks back in immediately, or going with two point guards by sending in either Cedrick Labing-isa or even Robin Rono. 
  • After a three-game stretch of 14.7 points and 14 rebounds, Emmanuel Mbe had to sit out much of the first half due to foul trouble, only to be promptly forgotten about when he came back in the third, finishing with just 11 points and 10 rebounds, with just seven shot attempts. The Bulldogs should have used him more, especially with the lack of quality big man defenders on FEU. Drawing a couple of fouls on Aldrech Ramos would have been big as well.
  • Veterans Glenn Khobuntin and Joseph Terso had little to contribute despite their senior status. In a total of 22 combined minutes, the duo scored 0 points, though Khobuntin didn't even have single attempt, while Terso was 0/4 from the field, 0/3 from beyond the arc including the potential game-winner. They helped a little in other ways, with Khobuntin snagging five rebounds, and Terso dealing out two assists and a steal, That's still a huge drop from their productive performances from last season. 
  • Tallying just 11 assists all in all shows that NU is just too one on one centric, especially when it comes to Parks who dominates the ball too much at times. They're actually the team that averages the fewest, just 12 a game, and so this shouldn't have been a surprise.

UAAP Picking Record: 31-11

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