The Green Archers are off to their best start since 2002. In fact this early, they have already matched their total wins from last season. They look to remain undefeated after the first round when they battle Ateneo tomorrow.
The question though is can they do it even without their head coach and team captain?
La Salle will be without Coach Aldin Ayo who was slapped a one-game suspension after being ejected in last Wednesday’s game against UE. And just today, it has been reported that Jeron Teng will likewise not suit up tomorrow as he recovers from a minor surgery to treat the bone spurs in his heel.
Despite their absence, we still believe that the Green Archers will come out on top in this game. Offensively, the team has other options that can fill-in in the void for Jeron. As shown in their last game, guys like Prince Rivero, Andrei Caracut and even Justine Baltazar were able to carry the scoring cudgels for the team. Of course, there’s Ben Mbala who will most likely have a field day down low.
On the defensive end, nothing will change. Expect the team to take their mayhem defense a notch higher against the Blue Eagles and force them to turnovers from the backcourt.
Ateneo is currently in second place at 4-2. Except FEU, all of their wins were against the weaker squads. If they want to have any chances of staging an upset, they need to play tough. And when we say tough, we mean the kind of in-your-face grit UE showed against us. But honestly, they don’t have the personnel to do this.
With Ben, Abu and Justine patrolling the shaded lane, don’t expect too many inside points from Ateneo. The Blue Eagles need to really do extremely well from the outside because they’ll most probably just get one attempt at it.
Overall, this is the perfect opportunity for the Green Archers to showcase their depth and prove that they can win without Jeron. This team is built to withstand injuries and yes, even play with no head coach.
No excuses. Let’s go for the first round sweep.