The learning curve continues. And it’s a tighter turn now isn’t it?
This is the first balanced game of the season for me. The first game that mirrored our pre-season performances. To me, this is the team that I envisioned what the team should be. It’s the defense to offense team.
Before anything else, let us acknowledge our opponents, and a particular player who used to be ours. Brent Paraiso was superb. He was a prime example of a player who left us and turned his situation into a positive one for him. And maintain his Christian Brother values. Animo Brent. Great game bro.
That UST team is something. I mean if we didn’t play them the way we did today, they would’ve blown us away. All those offensive weapons. They are lethal. That is if you allow them to be.
I was in discussing with one of my friends and I told him before the game that I like how our players match up to them and I had a good feeling about this game.
But I had to wait to confirm something. The match up reference was our defensive rotation. I had to wait for our defensive strategies. And to my expectations, the team did not disappoint.
Soulemane Chabi Yo, to my mind, is the best import of this season. He plays basic and consistent basketball. Scores, rebounds, and passes well. Defends well too.
Rhenz Abando is the best player on that team. He is a local version of Soulemane. Same skill set actually with a farther three point shooting range.
Our defense now plays the percentages. It identifies the two top scorers of a team and throws the kitchen sink at them. In the Adamson game, it was Chauca and Ahanmisi. For UST, it’s Chabi Yo and Abando. Stop or limit two, we have a good chance of winning.
We had five people on Chabi Yo. Baltazar, Malonzo, and Tyrus Hill as the primary defenders, with Brandon Bates and Laput alternating under the basket.
Malonzo was the key defender here. He defended both Chabi Yo and Abando. Big, tall, long, and fast enough for the both of them.
Then, we had two unsung heroes. Jordan Bartlett and Tyrus Hill. Bartlett and Lojera are interchangeable in defense, but provide different looks in offense. One slashes, and the other is a three point threat and can also sneak in some shots inside. Because of match up considerations we played the sneaky one in this game.
This defensive strategy on the two best scorers is the biggest reason why Paraiso went berserk. It wasn’t just the “hugot” factor. He just wasn’t double teamed. Strategy worked.
Now come our two top scorers….in this game. Notice the “in this game” statement separation. What I’m saying here is we have a lot of scoring talent. We don’t have to worry about offense, because we have a lot of scorers. We will score based on what the defense gives us.
But, why was it Melecio and Serrano in this game? Why not Baltazar, our usual high pointer?
Well, for one, Balti lost the mind game. At the beginning, Coach Ayo sent in Batiller, his resident battering ram. A double foul later. He lost his game. Balti is a target. His mindset should be on the game, not the player. Area of improvement coaches.
Going back. Encho and Aljun. 29 and 26. Wow. 55 over 92 points. Troll comments predict Armaggedon again? Cannot sustain that. They will not score like that again. Melecio is useless if he doesn’t score? Isn’t there a positive blood cell running in your veins at all? Hahahaha.
In a half court set, you score on what the defense gives you. In a defense to offense scenario, we have the most lethal running scorers in the game, who attack flattened out defenses in a fast break. Get it?
Encho and Aljun went berserk because when we force turnovers, they run. Two or three people in front of them cannot stop them. It takes team defense to stop these two, and Caracut as well. Therefore, we run the ball from a defensive stop. We get everybody involved on an offensive set. That’s the key.
If we do these things, different players will step up in different games. And the opponents will have nightmares scouting us.
Guys, we are back. As long as the players do their respective roles, no team can stop us. We won against Adamson with Melecio scoring two points while Encho did not score. We won against UST with these two running berserk.
Role playing. That’s the key. And yes of course. DEFENSE.