After a rather shaky season start, the Green Archers (3-4) appear to be rounding into shape towards the end of round one. Winners of 2 of their last 3 matches, including a blowout over UST last week, they look to keep it rolling today against the struggling NU Bulldogs (1-6).
The last time they faced each other. La Salle led all throughout but the Bulldogs grinded their way back to take a 1-point lead in the final 30 seconds. Luckily, Kurt Lojera sinked a clutch baseline jumper to put the Green Archers back on top and prevented a near endgame meltdown.
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 11, 2019
What to Watch For
Desperate Dogs. Despite being at the bottom right now, the tight race in the standings still gives NU a very realistic chance of still catching up. Most of their losses were by the slimmest of margins and they could be in the top three right now had the breaks gone their way in the endgame. This just proves that they aren’t quite as weak as their record may indicate. Expect them to come out more aggressive in this last ditch effort to save what has been a hard-luck season for them.
Ildefonso Brothers. They are the only Bulldogs averaging in double figures in scoring. Both of them, especially Dave are going to have the ball most of the time with a lot of isolation plays being set. La salle will most probably assign a quick and tall defender like Jamie Malonzo on Dave.
The EnSHOW must go on. Encho Serrano has shaken off any sign of a sophomore jinx after finishing with a career high 29 points in the last game. He is just what the team needs a right now, a straight-line slasher who can attack holes in the defense. He thrives in an open-court setting in which both La Salle and NU like to play.
Balti’s Rebound. After a rare offensive slump against UST, we can count on Justine Baltazar to bounce back today with another double-double performance. Facing a team with no post-up threat could just be the thing Balti needs to get back in the groove. Based on their first round match-up, there’s good reason to believe that he will once again eat Issa Gaye alive inside the paint.
Free Throw Woes. The Green Archers are ranked last in free throw shooting, making just 53% of their attempts. This has already been some sort of plague that has hounded the team for so many years.
Just recently, Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste challenged the team to improve their accuracy from the “Charity” Stripe.
#DLSUmbt averaged 52.59% FT shooting in the 1st Round of the #UAAP Season.I’d like to pose a challenge to the #GreenArchers.Make AT LEAST 70% every game (2nd round) and I will give P1,000 for every FT made.Choose a charity/foundation or create a players’ fund for the donation. ?
— Leviste•Mark Leviste (@markleviste) October 3, 2019
The results of yesterday’s games presents a huge opportunity for the Green Archers to grab a share of third place in the standings.