Buckle up! UAAP Round two could be a wild ride

Gotta agree with what many are saying about this men’s basketball season. It is indeed unpredictable.

Every team appears capable of beating anyone. If we look at the standings now, even the bottom teams still has a fighting chance of making it to the semis. That’s how exciting this year’s tournament is shaping up to be. Good for the league but not quite for us. Of course we would want to have less competition when it comes to vying for the top 4 positions at the end of the eliminations.

With just 1-2 games separating the teams at the upper half and middle of the standings, this coming second round will be intense. It’s important for the Green Archers to solidify its hold in the fourth spot with streaking UST not so far behind. Their first few games will be crucial and if they play their cards right, it is very much possible for them move up to the number two spot.

But first things first, the UE Red Warriors. While it was a 10 point win by the La Salle in round one, the downside was they allowed their opponent to get their offensive game going in the final period which trimmed their once comfortable margin. Sort of the same thing happened in last Saturday’s match versus Adamson in which they almost blew an 8-point lead in the final minute.

Except for that 27-point thrashing of UST, all their other victories were in grind out fashion. There’s a good and bad in these close matches. Good because it builds character and tests the team’s resolve in pressure situations. On the other hand, it can also point to inconsistency in play.

Take for example against the Soaring Falcons which was a game of spurts. They would go on a run at one point then later on relax and allow the other team to come back. Of course, being undermanned is a factor so we do hope that when Kib and Taane fully recovers from their injuries, we can get to see the team execute consistently on both ends for the full 40 minutes.

The game plan on the Red Warriors remains the same, close down on Alvin Pasaol and half the battle is won for La Salle. While we are expecting them to come out with a win here, what we want to see more is for the Green Archers to play with more cohesion. Better shot selection and fewer turnovers.

This is now the stage when every win or loss matters. It gets tougher from here on out.