Contributed by Proud Archer
Editor’s Note: This post was shared to us by one of our regular readers.
It is not about scoring. It’s about DEFENSE. League leader FEU has a 3-0 record by being the 2nd best defensive team in the league while only being tied for 4th-5th with La Salle in terms of scoring. FEU has the worse quotient among the top 4 teams at present, but they are the league leaders.
Second running Ateneo is currently 3rd in defense but their defense fuels a well oiled offensive machine. Thus, they lead the leauge in scoring so far. NU on the other hand is an offensive machine. They average 74 points per game, 2nd best in the league, and is the 4th best defensive team so far. But looking at the profile of their games, they are all blow-outs, one way or the other. They won against UE and UP by blowout, and lost to Ateneo by blowout. To put it simply, if their offense is allowed to chum, they will run you over. If your defense holds, they’re in trouble.
De La Salle is running fourth in terms of quotient (in a three way tie for 2nd). We have to be proud of this. We are now the No. 1 defensive team in the league. That is why we are in the thick of the fight this early. We lost by only 2 points to FEU but we are the only team limiting the opposition to less than 60 points per game and we limited FEU to 48 points. This is our ONLY chance this season. We cannot outscore the top 3 teams ahead of us, specially Ateneo and NU. We just don’t have the personnel. But we have the people to STOP teams from scoring, both inside the paint with our bigs, and in the perimeter, with Manguera, Tallo, and Revilla, who are all very good defensively.
UST, as usual, is ALWAYS a 50-50 proposition. You just cannot apply percentage basketball with them, because their coach puts premium on heart, rather than systems and organizations. It’s a run and gun team, that’s why they are the 3rd best scoring team in the league. But they are the second worst defensive team and guess which statistic kept them out of the magic 4 this early? UST always has a porous defense, even with the presence of Karin Abdul in the middle. Their basic flaw is that they don’t stop the ball from midcourt. They allow penetrations left and right, and rely on Abdul to clog the middle. That is why Abdul loses steam in the end because he has to do everything on the floor, with their only other defensive specialist Chris Camus no longer in the line up.
The final 3 teams all have a similar profile. Adamson is the more proficient scoring wise, but the average scores of the three are mirror images, with less than 2 points seperating each other. Their scoring is just 2 to 3 points off league leader FEU and 4th placer La Salle. It’s their defense that is missing. They are at lease 10 points off these same schools when it comes to holding down opponenents scoring.
THIS is why we have a chance Archers. As long as we keep that defensive intensity, we CAN win games. Don’t hope for a blow-out against any team. If we get sloppy, some teams WILL blow us out, notably Ateneo and NU. But if we keep the scoring low and the defensive intensity is there, we have a chance against ANYBODY in this leauge.