No need to overanalyze. Last game was nothing more than a feeling-out process for the Green Archers with Ben Mbala returning after being more than a month away. With the team having to start the season without him, it is clear that it will take some time before he establishes himself once again in the offensive flow of things.
For the other guys, they need to adjust as well. They will no longer be hoisting threes as much as they did in their first two games. Everyone should be happy that team will once again have a solid inside presence and no longer have to solely rely on perimeter offense to win. It will now be up to coach Aldin on how to balance the team’s inside and outside scoring.
As to fears that the Green Archers’ will depend too much on Ben to carry them on both ends, that won’t be the case. Just like last season, we know very well how this team can perform when everyone is in sync. Once they start to play like a well-oiled machine again, the results will be devastating.
The Fighting Maroons are currently in the middle of the pack with at 2-1 record. It’s worth mentioning though that those two wins were against the bottom two teams. They lost convincingly to Ateneo and they will once again be tested against a complete La Salle squad who swept their season series last year.
UP will no longer have Jett Manuel so much of the scoring load now falls on Paul Desiderio’s shoulders. He is coming off a 28-game performance against UE last week. Other players to watch for UP are veterans Kyles Lao and Diego Dario, the Gomez de Liaño bothers and their foreign center Ibrahim Ouattara.
Good thing for La Salle, UP is mostly a perimeter team and plays inconsistent defense. If this game turns out to be a shootout, then the Green Archers will most likely come up on top here having a lot of options on offense.
Guarding the perimeter and capitalizing their strength inside will be the team’s keys to notch their 4th win of the season.
After a sluggish showing last outing, let’s see how the adjustments go for the Green Archers tomorrow.