By Franco Rimando II
The De La Salle Green Archers dropped a tight but winnable game against UP yesterday, as they lost by just 2 points. The tight game featured 5 lead changes preceding a 4th quarter greenie melt down, leading to a second loss for the Archers so far in the young season.
The Archers at one point led by as many as 7 points, and looked like they had an answer to every UP scoring run, but it all dissipated in the last few minutes of the 4th period as the Archers seemed to just run out of gas, allowing a 12-2 UP run to close the game. In the dying minutes of the 4th period, the Archers had 4 chances to win or tie the game and send it to overtime but their inability to get a good shot against UP’s tight defense proved to be too much for Archers.
With the loss, the Taft-based squad fell to the solo 3rd spot in the standings with a 4-2, win-loss record.
I was hoping for the Archers to have a 6-1 record for the 1st half of the season, especially after how our team performed against FEU. However, much to my dismay the Archers went down their 2nd loss in a game where a win was possible. Free throw troubles, poor ball rotation and series of errant passes were the main culprits, particularly when it mattered late in the game. Definitely, the team still has a lot of things to improve on but before we go into that, let’s review first what we did right as a team.
What we did right?
The Archer pressure defense, especially good in forcing the other team to commit turnovers, continues to be the team’s go-to-defensive asset. In previous games, the UP squad would average 18 turnovers a game. Against the Green Archers, the Fighting Maroons coughed up the ball over 23 times with the Archers scoring 13 points from those turnovers.
Other things the Archers are good at – they are currently 1st in the league in steals (10.5) and blocks (4.67). The Coach Derek style of defense continuous to be a menace to the opposing team and as the season progresses, we will definitely rely on this facet of the team if we are to enter final 4 of S84.
What we need to improve on?
In this game, the Archers were short by 1 rebound compared the team rebounding average in previous games. Also, in this game the Archers allowed the Maroons to record 24 offensive rebounds, allowing the opposing team 10 second chance points. So far, we’ve been impressed by the Phillips Brothers leaping and rebounding prowess, however if we are to improve in this department, then gang rebounding and boxing-out opponents will be a must. The team has one of the tallest frontlines in the league, and must capitalize on this height advantage.
Turnovers and Free Throws
Currently, the team ranks 1st in Freethrows missed and 2nd in the turnover department. So far, the Archer’s go-to-defensive asset is being negated by the number of times we as a team turn the ball over. In the game, against the Maroons, the Archers recorded 19 turnovers with UP scoring 15 points from those errors. So far, this has been the one of the team’s main weakness throughout the tournament. Our leads are normally chopped down whenever we commit these turnover, and if an opponent can capitalize on the errors, it can turn the game around in their favor. Easier said than done but the team needs to better control the flow of the game, allowing our guards to experience less pressure in crossing the half-court mark and the setting the play.
The Archers next game will be at the Arena this Saturday at 1pm. The opposing team will be the Adamson Falcons who have a 1-4 win-loss record. Supporters are also allowed back in the stands, so we encourage everyone to once again fill the Arena with a sea of green in support of our men’s basketball team.
Animo La Salle!