As a result of their horrendous overall performance against FEU last Saturday, La Salle (5-6) is once again outside of the top four and now find themselves in a daunting situation of sweeping their last three elimination round games to keep their hopes of an uncomplicated passage to the semis.
Today, they take on a resurgent UST squad (7-5) who are coming off back-to-back inspiring wins to maintain their hold of solo third.
The last time they faced each other. The Green Archers came away with a convincing 92-77 victory to snap a two-game losing skid. Encho Serrano finished with a career high 29 points.
What to Watch For
Defending the Perimeter. Coach Jermaine Byrd was absolutely disappointed on the effort showed by the team against FEU last Saturday. The poor execution on the defensive end allowed the Tamaraws to shoot 54% from the field. What’s worse, FEU’s shooting percentage from beyond the arc was even better than how the Green Archers performed from the foul line.
“Just no communication. I thought we let our offense dictate our defense. We didn’t have a good offensive performance so it carried over to our defense.”, he said
UST is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the league. La Salle should not fall into the trap of engaging them in a shootout and instead find ways to shut them down.
Andrei and Aljun. It should go without saying, but La Salle would need stellar performances from their veteran guards if they are to seriously compete for a slot in the semis. Both of them were unable to finish in double figures in their last two games. Not sure if this can still be attributed to the flu but we look forward to see them regain their form today.
The Standings. As of this writing, the Green Archers find themselves just half a game behind FEU (6-6) in the standings. Depending on the results of the Adamson-FEU game later, a win by La Salle over UST will either help reclaim the fourth spot or at the very least keep them within striking distance.
At this crucial stage of the tournament, the Green Archers would want nothing more than to continue their 3-year mastery over the Growling Tigers today.
Losing a game is no longer an option.