Better lucky than good? One of the most memorable games of the first round, the Adamson Falcons blitzed DLSU's zone defense with some lucky long-bomb triples, while in the dying moments of the game, three different Archers missed point-blank layups, often without a defender anywhere near to contest the shot. Also worth noting was La Salle reverting to its ugly pre-season foul throw shooting form, making just 9 of 23 charities, though they can take some comfort knowing that this was rookie center Norbert Torres' first double-digit game (14 points), with his first made triple to boot! Meanwhile, Adamson got 18 points from Lester Alvarez, who out-dueled his counterpart, LA Revilla, who finished with just a deuce. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- The Falcons (5-2) can continue to create separation between the number two seed, which they currently possess, and the other guys itching to move up, a group that includes the Archers. A more convincing win against La Salle will also make them feel more confident about themselves, should they face off again in the post-season (coupled with the benefit of shutting up some of the doubters out there).
- The Archers (4-3) can force a tie for second place with Adamson with a win, something they want to pull off desperately, in order to secure the twice to beat advantage inherent in the two top-seeds. La Salle also suffered back to back collapses to end the first round, losing the game to Adamson and then nearly getting caught by the Tigers. They could definitely use a big win now, to kick off their second round with a bang.
ADU Player to Watch : Lester Alvarez will be the man to watch again. Not only does he have to guard LA Revilla on one end, on the other side, he has to bring up the ball against the DLSU press, and then when he's crossed the halfcourt line safe and sound, force the Archers to move away from the zone by nailing some timely triples. If all of that is in the books for Alvarez, then you can add another 'W' into Adamson's win column.
DLSU Player to Watch : With La Salle's guards falling silent and Arnold Van Opstal just taking himself out of the game with all his fouls, it's been mainly up to Norbert Torres to be the man down low, and he's played fine under the basket, averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. Part of what helped La Salle down the stretch was the foul trouble experienced by the Adamson bigs, and so if Torres' play can sideline one or two of the big men guarding him, the Archers' chances of winning increase dramatically.
Prediction: ADU Falcons