The rebuilding process express of the De La Salle Green Archers continue this Sunday against the UE Red Warriors. The Red Warriors also seem to claim to be on a rebuilding phase because of their new coach, Coach Joe Silva.
Personally, I think UE is on a more rebuilding stage at this point. For DLSU, Coach Louie is already familiar with this team as he is with the team for 3 years already. Comparing it to Coach Joe, who started handling these Red Warriors only this year.
For UE, it is a known fact that their game fate lies on how Alvin Pasaol performs on the court. Defending, more so stopping him will be easier said than done. Pasaol in two games may be firing blanks from deep but we all know he can sink those shots when he’s hot and he gets his rhythm going.
In two games, UE’s offense always goes thru Pasaol. If he can’t score, he will try to let his teammates get involved in the flow of offense. It may not be a direct assist but rather hockey assists. Pasaol also crashes the boards well, in fact he is averaging 4 offensive rebounds in two games this season. It means UE is getting 4 extra possessions from Pasaol alone and it is a crucial stat to look at for the game on Sunday.
So, if Pasaol plays the decoy, he will always try to get his points on other ways possible. He will try to get 2nd chance points off putbacks, he will also try to get into the free throw line and get freebies as he is physical and has a good upper body strength to receive contact but still be able to get a shot attempt.
The downside of Pasaol having the ball more means that he leads UE in turnovers. This is one area that can be capitalized by the Green Archers as UE is the number two ranked team on turnovers made in a game with 16.5 turnovers per game. The concern here though is, DLSU is forcing 14 turnovers a game but the Green Archers are only producing 7.5 turnover points out of those opponent turnovers.
Another player worth mentioning for the Red Warriors is Jason Strait. I think he only played one game so far for UE but I think he will be an important contributor this season for the Red Warriors. His length and athleticism will be valuable on both ends for UE. He has yet to miss on the field while scoring 10 points on the loss against Adamson last Wednesday.
So far, those are the two player that I think worth looking out for on the Red Warriors. Overall, what’s not been going well for UE on the two games that they have played are their turnovers and rebounding. I still think that UE lacks the height and ceiling to match up with the other teams in the league. As we all know in basketball, whoever controls the rebound, controls the game.
They are dead last in the league in rebounding at 40 rebounds per game while allowing their opponents to grab 40 offensive rebounds. On those 40 offensive rebounds that UE is allowing on their opponents, UE is surrendering 22.5 second chance points to their opponents. Personally, with more activity on our big men (Balti, Santi, and Master Brandon), I think this area can be capitalized too as a key to another win on Sunday.
Still on rebounding, Alvin Pasaol is UE’s leading rebounder. One fourth of UE’s rebounding is carried by Pasaol now. Taking away that aspect would help limit his point production and can help secure DLSU’s 2nd win of the season.
Going over to the turnovers category, with UE committing 16.5 turnovers per game, they are also allowing 19 fast break points per game and 15.5 turnover points per game. With DLSU playing at a faster pace, it will be important to convert those forced turnovers into points. And being a taller team than UE, the boys in green and white should be able to run more fast break attempts and hopefully will convert and score from those transition opportunities.
I think UE will be able to score off DLSU on transition baskets, regardless if it came from a turnover or a missed attempt that’s why it will be important for the Green Archers to get back on defense. UE’s half court points will depend on how Pasaol performs. If the Green Archers will limit Pasaol on the half court, half of the battle is won already. I don’t see any half court threat from UE aside from Pasaol at this point.
Pasaol may be due for a breakout game, perimeter-wise so it will be important to put emphasis on stopping him on UE’s half court sets. For DLSU, I think overall, offense is the concern at this point. The Green Archers are number two on defense after two games so stopping the opponent is not an issue so far after two games this season.
If the Green Archers will find its scoring touch on Sunday, it will be huge. I expect Santi and Balti to play well since I don’t think talent-wise, they have a match-up individually back there on UE’s side. If Santi and Balti can’t score right away, I think both can facilitate and find other open guys on offense or they can fuel DLSU’s transition by getting those rebounds and letting the more veteran DLSU guards to score off fast breaks.
I hope that the huge NU win will help DLSU settle more coming into Sunday’s game. Just like in the NU game, relatively, UE has a lot of new players in the UAAP and those veteran smarts can come in handy throughout the course of the game. UE may lack in talent but DLSU still cannot relax and be overconfident come Sunday. UE can beat anyone on this league if the other teams will be caught napping.