This was one great game to accurately gauge where we are this season. I felt bad about our loss to FEU. That game was ours and we didn’t take it. I didn’t feel too bad about this loss (but any loss to our archrivals, though, ALWAYS stings). It was an expected loss but not a humiliating one. We can pick up a lot of things about last Saturday’s game.
1. L.A. Revilla
Well, you coldn’t ask for more from this guy. What a GREAT PLAYER. Offensively and defensively.
2. Norbert Torres
I expected Norbert to post up 90% of the time but he didn’t, instead employing the strategy of shooting from the outside (a ploy to draw out Slaughter). If he has a consistent jumpshot, this ploy would’ve worked. I was happy that he used the bank shot more (his first jumpshot was a made one off the glass). I THOUGHT that he would do this all night, BUT HE DIDN’T. He SHOULD HAVE. And we whould have gone to Norbert ALL NIGHT too. The short jumpshot off the glass from the right side will draw out Slaughter. He can do this from the post or face-up. I think we should remember this strategy and employ it more often. use of the glass should be AUTOMATIC for Norbert.
3. Jed Manguera
I like Jed’s ANIMO AND HEART. Blue collar worker, NO FEAR, and GREAT DEFENDER. His two three point shots were crucial, but he missed a copule in the first quarter, which allowed Ateneo to come back with counter fast breaks to pull away. I felt we lost the game in the FIRST QUARTER as the effort to come back, successful as it was, took it’s toll on the stamina of our boys. Nevertheless, makes or misses, Jed should continue to throw those shots up.
4. Jeron Teng
Well, he is the future. He is earning his battle scars this season and earning them well. That five second violation indicated his inexperience. But he will learn from that. He may swallow bitter pills this year, but we will get there with Jeron around.
5. The Coaching Staff.
It was the first game to also gauge our coach and coaching staff, their first real test, and I think there were some lapses here and there.
They wanted to give different defensive looks vs. Slaughter. Good strategy but we saw that a single coverage on Slaughter did not work. Van Opstal’s single coverage on Slaughter in the 4th quarter didn’t work. Van Opstal does not go after the ball but the man. As such was repeatedly kept off balanced by Slaughter, including a nifty up and under move on him. Opstal should learn to just keep his body between his man, don’t commit, and look watch where the ball is at times. Only when the ball goes up should he he commit. Papot was too eager just to foul Slaughter, even away from play. Again, he should have just played the ball and not the man.
Yutien Andrada was utilized as a second defender on Slaughter. Yutien should have just stayed with Nico Salva and we should have used other defenders against Slaughter, including a guard double team to take away his dribble. Yutien should SOLELY stop Nico Salva as a second scorer. Let other people double up on Slaughter.
Jeron Teng shoud not have been taksed to inbound on that crucial play. A more expereinced guy should have done so. But we can also take that as a positve. A baptism of fire for the kid, Let’s no knock him for that boner play. It’s still considered as part of the breaks of the game.
Thomas Torres sholdn’t have been called for duty. We should have stuck with Tallo. Tomas was too cold coming from the bench, and as such, was not in rythm with the team.
Someone also suggested that we have some rotation issues. Yes, I agree to a certain extent. BUT, what rotation do we really do against a team who has a Slaughter???? The bottomline after this game is that we can compete this year. We can vie for the Championship even. But we have to win against top four caliber teams. We haven’t so far. Our next test is a very confident UST squad fresh from a come from behind shellacking of title contender NU. Let’s see how we do this Satruday.