And just like that, the Green Archers’ season is on the line.
Unable to secure an outright berth in the Final Four after the elimination round, the team will now have to “lock horns” with the FEU Tamaraws for the fourth and final seed.
What a bummer! La Salle had two chances to clinch it. From having a much better chance to enter the finals with Adamson as their semis opponent, they now have to go through a more difficult path instead. If they manage to beat the Tams, they will have the “privilege” of facing Ateneo next. That’s three possible “win or go home” matches for them in 8 days based on the schedule.
So how did the team get into this situation?
Some supporters blamed Adamson for supposedly not trying hard to win their last game against FEU. Well to be realistic about it, the Falcons or basically our fellow Lasallians running the show there don’t owe us anything. If some think they deliberately tried to lose to make life harder for us then that’s not their problem. It’s not their fault that our team was not able to close it out in their last two games in the elims.
Taane Samuel? The Green Archers have not won a game since he returned from injury. Seriously? He was not responsible for the any of the team’s missed foul shots, turnovers and defensive lapses – you know those things that probably could have given them a much better chance in winning against the Blue Eagles and Fighting Maroons.
The only concern here is that he must be reintegrated back in the system as he missed a lot of games. Having Taane around will always be an upside and the Green Archers would need the big guy to contribute if they are to advance. Let’s hope the coaching staff has already made the right adjustments and make things work out for everyone.
FEU has been so inconsistent this season but they remain to be dangerous especially if they get their offense going early. Both squads will have a complete roster in this game so this promises to be a close one. It will all boil down to a battle of will.
For the Green Archers, it’s basically “one loss and you are outta here” from hereon. They can no longer afford to make a lot of mental mistakes on both ends of the floor. Every possession, every point (especially free throws) matters.
It’s the team that placed themselves to where they are now. Now it’s up to them how they will respond to this level of adversity. Except for Kib Montalbo, the other guys are not used to play with their backs against the wall.
But if they believe that they can go all the way this season, this is the challenge they need to face…. and overcome.
May the odds be in our favor tomorrow.