Monday, September 5, 2011

One Day Later: FEU vs UE, DLSU vs UP

FEU 78 - UE 69
Recap - - - Preview

Player of the Game : Congrats Terrence Romeo, you did not mess up this week. I'm still not giving you this title though, because I feel like RR Garcia deserves it more. His two triples in the fourth quarter sealed the game for FEU when they gave the Tams a 15-point lead, much too big for UE to counter. Overall, his line of 21 points on 8 of 18 shooting, plus three rebounds, two assists and three steals just excites me more than what his teammate Romeo put up.

FEU Positives :
  • FEU's three-point shooting came online at the best possible time, in the fourth quarter, with UE looking to string together an extended rally. The back to back by Aldrech Ramos kicked things off, and then RR Garcia dropped two more, no doubt, causing UE to regret switching to a zone in that instance. 
  • Mark Bringas had a solid game, scoring eight, to go along with his eight boards, five on the offensive end. That's really the sort of game he needs to contribute each week, if FEU is expected to go far.
FEU Negatives :
  • Hard to imagine a top-notch defensive unit like FEU surrendering 50 percent shooting to a squad like the UE Red Warriors. 
  • Losing Russel Escoto to a wrist sprain hurt FEU's depth in this game, but they still managed to win despite him playing only six minutes. A bigger problem is if he has to miss games in the future. If he's unavailable when they play UST, that means the job of defending Karim Abdul will fall solely on the shoulders of Aldrech Ramos. 

UE Positives :
  • UE used to get by with one or two guys doing most of the scoring, but in this game, they were able to find five players in double-digits, Zamar, Sumido, Sumang, Noble and Santos. It's easy to see why FEU had such a hard time defending them with that kind of a spread. 
  • Roi Sumang had a nice outing, showing the sort of play that made UE run in last year's Fr. Martin Cup. Sumang scored 11 in 27 minutes, while also plucking down five rebounds, dishing out six assists and making two swipes, all of that to just a single turnover.
UE Negatives :
  • I'm a firm believer that you need to start your best players all the time. Fine, some coaches try to reward players who have good practices, others try to balance out the scoring from the reserves and the starters, but I do not see the logic of starting someone, and then benching him for the rest of the game. Case in point, UE had Jess Sabangan, Nico Montelibano and Von Chavez start, and then never saw the light of day past the first quarter. Meanwhile, Biboy Enguio, Lord Casajeros and Erwin Duran, guys who carried you in previous games, got few minutes. Why does this happen?

Rise above - down 20, the Archers survived to stay in contention (pic source)

DLSU 73 - UP 72
Recap - - - Preview

Player of the Game : With Alinko Mbah barely registering an impact in his nine foul-plagued minutes, Norbert Torres was able to run amok in the UP interior, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of play. His numbers were pretty solid, 4 of 5 from the field and 7 of 9 from the line. We'll simply ignore his ill-advised three point attempt.

DLSU Positives :
  • The big rally to start the fourth, led by LA Revilla and Almond Vosotros not only gave La Salle the lead, it also stole all momentum from UP, who had done an okay job surviving up to that point. Sent backpedaling, the Maroons couldn't string together enough shots to win.
  • The players recognized that the 2-2-1 press employed was being broken too easily, and thus asked head coach Dindo Pumaren if they could switch back to just a simple fullcourt press. Luckily, Pumaren assented and the Archers used it to wreck havoc on UP. 
DLSU Negatives :
  • La Salle's flat start that saw them score just seven points in the first quarter, later allowing UP to build a twenty point lead, has to be a low for the Archers this season. UE never got that sort of separation, and UP was playing out of their minds defense, clearly sensing weakness on the part of DLSU.
  • A familiar woe, freethrow shooting, nearly cost DLSU the game, as Torres' split at the line could have just as easily been two misses, given how erratic the Archers have been when it comes to free throws all season-long. Conversely, they could have also been two makes, shutting the door definitively on any thoughts of a UP rally.

UE Positives :
  • In the first half, UP was able to do what they're best at, getting out to run. The Maroons got 17 turnover points from 15 DLSU errors, coupled with 14 huge fastbreak points. 
  • Credit to UP, they did fold early in the fourth, instead battling back to try to pull off an upset. They got 10 more field goal attempts, coming mostly from an 8-1 offensive rebound score, but weren't able to convert when it mattered, especially from outside where they were 1 of 6. Big props though to a surprising 10 point fourth quarter effort from Miggy Maniego, as he terrorized La Salle on the break.
UE Negatives :
  • UP needed all hands on deck to win this game, especially when the slumbering Archers woke up. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't make it happen. All six of Jelo Montecastro's points came in the first. Alinko Mbah tallied five fouls in a blink of an eye. Mark Juruena could not connect (2 of 11 shooting) though his 12 boards were a big help. Lastly, Jett Manuel simply could not get it going, as the smaller DLSU guards ate him up. 
  • Even up close, the Maroons could not connect, finishing 20 of 49 on points in the paint, 8 of 22 in the second half. While some of that is because of La Salle's height advantage, there were plenty of easy layups muffed as well.

UAAP Picking Record: 38-12

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