Finally, closure for a season like no other in recent memory.
Season 72 for the Green Archers ended with a 61-63 loss to the nothing-to-lose NU Bulldogs. For the first time in a long time, the Archers finished with a losing record, 5-9. Also another first – the Archers failed to reach the playoff stage for the first time since the final 4 format started in the early 90’s.
Why we lost
NU simply wanted it more. They played their usual free wheeling game without pressure, taking long potshots and individual dribble drives past their perimeter defenders. They pressured the Archer ball handlers, and made ball movement difficult around the perimeters.
Injuries hounded the green-and-white in this game. Arvie did not suit up due to injury, and we lost Yutien early in the game to a sprain. A few minutes later, Kish also had to be helped off also after he sprained his ankle, although he managed to return in the second half. Without a credible inside defender, the ‘dogs penetrated at will although their shooting also left much to be desired.
Archers couldn’t hit the target
Another game where our team couldn’t shoot straight for most of the game, both from the field and from the foul line. In the first half, the Archers made less than 1 out of every 4 shots from the field, and missed 13 out of their 20 foul shots. Missed free throws were costly. Joshua missed two in the last minute after successfully fishing fouls from the NU defense.
Ineffective offensive patterns were the offshoot of poor ball movement. Joel had a so-so game, and was not fielded for much of the second half. Without his quickness and smooth ball distribution, the Archer offense became a walk up half court offense, easily predictable and defended even by the weak-guarding Bulldogs. Peejay misfired early, but persisted and scored 17 points on a variety of long shots and drives. Bader saw action, coughed up the ball a couple of times, but scored on gutsy drives and a now rare triple. Ferdinand was fielded in for the first time in a few games, expended a lot of energy but contributed little else. James pulled another one of his now-familiar disappearing acts, contributing a single field goal and very little else. Kish played well but committed a momentum-breaking offensive blunder, taking a hurried jumper from the elbow early in our shot clock after the Archers had taken the lead at 52-51. His miss effectively halted a potential run by the Archers and enabled NU to regain its bearings.
The season in a nutshell
In a way, this last game was representative of the Archers’ season. Poor shooting, weak ball movement and distribution, the walk-the-ball up offense and the absence of fastbreaks, vulnerability to the perimeter drive-and-dish penetrations, lackadaisical effort from some veterans, and the rookies unable to follow anyone’s lead (because no one wanted to take the lead).
Wait till next year!
So the pregnant wait starts (hey, it’s all of 9 months), and in the meantime rumors are sure to swirl about who remains on the team. Only Hyram is ineligible for next year. Of the veterans, James, Ferdinand, Peejay, Bader, and Kish have at least 1 year each, Jovet, Maui, and Joshua have 3 years of eligibility left, Simon has 2, and our rookies all have 4 years to go. Our team B has exciting talents like Norbert Torres (eligible only in Season 74), Papot Paredes, Martin Reyes, Paolo Rodriguez, and Manoj Chandumal on its roster. The Junior Archers have several good seniors who could potentially go to DLSU. Let’s not forget our guys who sat out the season while in sick bay – big man Marko Batricevic who should have fully recovered from his knee injuries, and LA Revilla whose quickness and ball handling were sorely missed this year.
In the meantime
An early vacation for the men’s basketball team. But not necessarily for the loyal green-and-white basketball supporters, since the Junior Archers and Women’s Basketball Team are already into the final 4. Come and cheer our Junior and Women’s teams as they try to reclaim the championships in their respective divisions. Why not help our Pep squad as they compete in the cheerdance competitions on Sunday.
And let’s not forget our athletes who compete in the other UAAP sports. The badminton and beach volleyball competitions are currently under way. Judo, table tennis, swimming, and taekwondo will kick off within the first semester, while baseball, fencing, chess, football, softball, track & field, and volleyball are slated for the 2nd semester.
Our men’s basketball team may have bowed out for the season, but our other teams are sure to figure in the thick of the battle. Let’s show up and cheer them on (except in chess, of course!).