Despite the near-meltdown last Wednesday, the Green Archers are probably just all so happy to get their first win of the season. But if they are to progress forward and make a serious push for a place in the top 4, they need to address their current freethrow and turnover woes. Over the first two games, they were shooting just 38% from the foul line and turned the ball over at an alarming rate.
The good part is that they are averaging 22 assists per game which is actually best in the league so far. A good sign for the coaching staff that preaches team-oriented basketball.
Today, they shall be facing a UE squad that has yet to win in three games. With the possibility of their foreign player Alex Diakhite still sitting out due to illness, the outlook for them in this match appears to be bleak.
Things to watch out for:
Center Spotlight. The potential absence of Diakhite for the Red Warriors leaves a big hole inside, one that La Salle would be delighted to exploit. Expect Balti and Jamie do a lot of damage in the paint. Both players are averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Redemption Time for Mai-Mai. Joel Cagulangan committed a surprising 7 turnovers in their game against NU, most of which came late in the 4th which enabled the Bulldogs to comeback and momentarily take the lead. Just part of the rookie experience.
All Suerte. UE’s Rey Suerte is indeed a “Lucky” find. The one-and-done guard has been leading the way on offense for the Red Warriors with a 20-point scoring average. UE has been known to have these good big-time scorers like James Yap, Paul Lee and Alvin Pasaol. Suerte is that guy that the Green Archers need to put the clamps on.
Looking Ahead. If they play their cards right, La Salle will come out victorious here. After that it will be a tough stretch moving forward with FEU and Adamson as their upcoming opponents. As we move along the season, the window of opportunity to get themselves right becomes smaller.