The Green Archers are back in action later this afternoon against FEU. Both teams are tied at 1-2 and are coming off disappointing losses last Saturday. Just like all the previous match-ups between these two squads, we can expect it to be intense and heated as they all aim to keep in pace with those in the upper half of the standings.
Justine Baltazer has been a consistent double-double performer for the Green Archers in their first four games and we look to see him continue his uphill development. Jamie Malonzo and Keys Meeker both sat out last game due to injury and as of this writing, there is no confirmation yet as to whether they will be suited up today.
What to Watch For
A Lot of Running and Shooting. Both teams love to play at a fast pace and take a ton of shots from the outside. La Salle though has more options and can choose to go strong inside. The Tamaraws’ depth will be an issue for them as they don’t have yet players that can significantly fill-in the void left by the likes of Tolentino, Escoto, Parker and Inigo.
Improved Overall Defense (Finally!) All of the Green Archers’ on-paper and actual advantages will not matter if they don’t play good defense. Their game versus UE has been proof of that. The Tamaraws have the same streak shooter type guys who can hurt you if you leave them open. Let’s stop making it so easy for opponents to make their shots shall we?
And of course, there’s also that collective effort to crash the boards on both ends. It sucks that we get out-rebounded by smaller teams.
Avoiding Doomsday. It may be silly to call this a “must-win” with still 11 games to go in the elimination round, but given that this is a short tournament, it actually is. Green Archers would want to avoid losing back-to-back as all the succeeding games in the first round will be against teams that are above .500.
Going up against the Tamaraws, who will also likely play with an early sense of urgency is just a start of a tough stretch for the team and this will be more or less be a good convincing factor if they are indeed contenders.