The Way Out

What? Fox was right? When did that happen? Hahahaha. I have to kid. This is painful. But……..DIGNIFIED.

Truth of the matter is I didn’t feel like writing an article immediately after this game. We had it. It slipped through.

Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. One has to win, one has to lose. Congratulations to FEU. Let’s give it to them. They won it. Period.

But, let’s also give it to the guys. No quarters turned. None given. And not just the players mind you. That was one hell of a coaching job coach et. al. Masterful strategy. But more importantly, in game adjustments.

FEU’S plan again was simple. Anybody but Aljun. They put Parker primarily on him, and they followed him everywhere with two men. If you go far back as 1979, the US NCAA finals between Michigan State led by Magic Johnson vs. Indiana State, led by Larry Bird, it was a mirror strategy of that game. Michigan face guarded Bird, and doubled him as soon as the ball came to him. Wherever he went.

Indiana State was 33-0 going into the championship game, and Bird, ever the fierce competitor, tried and tried, but ultimately failed. They were blown off the court.

There is a difference though. Indiana never adjusted to the Bird denial defense. The Greenarchers did. And ALMOST WON THE game.

Firstly, kudos to the coaching staff. They did the unthinkable. Played Taane Samuel at the three spot. What, you may ask, was the effect to us? Taane didn’t have a monster game. And he had trouble following the quick shooters in the perimeter.

Well, Leonard Santillan came back!!!! And Mark Dyke came back!!!! Yes guys. It was the 4-5 rotation of that 8-4 team. Putting Taane at 3 NEVER disrupted the rotation, and Leonard Santillan had a MONSTER swan song.

Also, it created a lot of mismatches. I felt those mismatches were not optimized, specially when Taane was guarded by Comboy, but hey, let’s pick our poison. Leonard at 4 was wreaking havoc.

And, Kib was Kib. No matter what the stat sheets say, Kib will always be felt when he’s on the court. And…WHAT A HERO!!!!!

Broken finger. Bloodied jersey. Daredevil drives. Out of the blue defense. Hard nose. The Man of Steal.

Thank you Leonard and Kib. It was the breaks. And the community recognizes that. You saw the accolades. Animo to you guys.

You know this season is a very good learning one for us. We over achieved. I mean, that was practically an all filipino line up we threw at the tournament’s seven other teams. Depleted line up even. And despite those, it was a winning record.

Hey, let’s not forget the coach and his staff. You know, coaches are like referees. Ignored when you win, blamed when you lose. And don’t tell me there wasn’t blaming thrown at them. Read through your comments. You know who you are.

Did you see that last play? I actually expected it. They brought Serrano in, both as a screener for Santi, and an alley-oop threat as well. That was the play. At the rim. And we executed. And we got the shot we wanted. So, Coach Louie, GREAT JOB.

So, is it back to the drawing board? Start from scratch? NO!!!! This was a foundation year. The pieces to win a championship or two are now in place. Tweaking and enhancements are now in order. And we have a good coach!!!! Pure basketball.

As much as it hurts, it’s OK. Next year, It’s ON. And Just like Fox, I will make My bold prediction. La Salle WILL make the final four. No. La Salle WILL make finals. NO. LA SALLE WILL WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

Why make your prediction mediocre like him anyway? THAT IS OUR WAY OUT NEXT YEAR!!!!!