Wednesday, August 10, 2011


History Lesson: 
The DLSU Green Archers swept the UST Growling Tigers last season. In the first round meeting, a 22-10 second quarter bomb lifted the Archers and allowed them to cruise to a 61-53 win, though Clark Bautista and Chris Camus did their best to keep the Tigers in it. A similar pattern took place in the second round, this time, a 19-9 second period was the catalyst for a 78-69 Archer win, as Maui Villanueva led his side with a double-double of 11 and 10. The Tigers got revenge in the summer though, overcoming a foul-plagued debut for Karim Abdul to shock La Salle 79-70 in the opening day of the Fil-Oil Preseason Tournament.

UST Storyline : The Tigers survived the loss of Jeric Teng and killed the Maroons through a new-found weapon, defense, allowing them to reach the .500 mark again after a three game slide. The 49 points they gave up against UP was a record for the season, as was the 29.31 percent field goal shooting. It's not impossible to see UST slipping into the fourth seed if they continue to play that well on the other end of the court, as opposed to previous seasons which were all about offense.
Stat to Watch : The Tigers now stand as the best rebounding team, with 47.33 boards a game, thanks in aprt to a defense that allows the second most three-point attempts in the league, but makes opponents shoot 16.10 percent from beyond the arc. La Salle is currently just a fraction away from UST in terms of rebounding (46.67 a game) and they're the second best three-point shooting team, at 26.92 percent. UST will need to keep one, preferably both, of those numbers down if they want to win.
Player to Watch : In the summer, Karim Abdul played just 14 minutes against La Salle before fouling out, and no doubt, he'd like to make up for that poor first impression. He's currently averaging 7.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, but he's only shooting 34.69 percent from the field and is prone to turning the ball over (three a game). When he faces the likes of Arnold Van Opstal and Norbert Torres, he'll need to keep his cool and try not to do anything out of his comfort zone like throw up jump shots. If he keeps things simple, odds are good that he'll be on the court longer than 14 minutes this time.

DLSU Storyline :  Name something bad, and it probably happened for DLSU. Blown layups, a no-show by Arnold Van Opstal (just six minutes before he was pulled), a lack of point guard play, a lack of veteran play (just six points from Simon Atkins, Maui Villanueva, Jovet Mendoza and Joshua Webb), poor free throw shooting and of course, simple bad luck, all teamed up to do the Archers in. And yet, it must be pointed out that they lost by only single digits, so this isn't quite the cataclysmic loss that some are making it out to be. That said, La Salle needs to blow this game wide open early, not just to ensure that luck doesn't factor in late, but also because the longer UST is in the game, the better their morale, and conversely, the worse DLSU's will be.
Stat to Watch : Adamson was able to shut down La Salle's guards, allowing just 18 points from Simon Atkins, LA Revilla, Almond Vosotros, Luigi Dela Paz and Jarelan Tampus. That's sounds a bit like what the Tigers were able to do against UP, allowing just 26 points from Mike Silungan, Mike Gamboa, Jett Manuel and Jelo Montecastro. La Salle can't afford back to back no-shows from their backcourt, and so players like LA Revilla especially, need to have a good game in order to end the first round above .500.
Player to Watch : LA Revilla suffered his first bad game of the season, a two point, 1 of 7 performance and it'll be interesting to see how he bounces back.Revilla will likely find his driving lanes closed, similar to what UST did last game against UP, and so his jumper will need to be online. Either that or he'll need to be willing to drive inside and draw fouls, something he hasn't done since his first two games (average of 12 versus FEU and Ateneo, just 13 total since)

Prediction: DLSU Green Archers

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