This will be our theme for our games this season. No how strong our how weak our opposition is this year, expect that ALL our games will be close and hotly contested.
On a positive note, basketball wise, make no mistake about it. WE ARE BACK. No matter what they say about our lack of offensive efficiency, our lack of reliable and consistent outside shooters, WE WILL BE IN THE GAME up to the last second. No longer are we the whippets of last year. Teams build a big lead on us, we will come back. The answer to this is our DEFENSE. We have a VERY STRONG defense this year.
Our interior defense allows our perimeter defense to be more aggressive and gamble a little, knowing that a secondary and tertiary line always lurks behind them to cover their backs. We won last nights game on an aggressive defensive play by Jed Manguera, the unsung hero yesterday. That baseline steal during the dying seconds of the game exemplifies our aggressiveness on defense this year. Teams may score on us during their runs, but when their offense dries out, our defense will not.
Our offense? Adequate enough to compete with EVERYONE. Our problem with our offense is really just SHOOTING FUNDAMENTALS. The BANK SHOT, in particular. Those who are adept at using this shot are Jovet Mendoza, Yutien Andrada, and our star player, Jeron Teng. No matter how strong Jeron drives to the basket, he almost always makes the shot or the “and one” play. Because he uses the bank shot. Sadly, Norbert Torres does not hear this.
Yesterday, yes Norbert played a monster game. Points, assists, rebounds, attraction of the double and triple team. He did EVERYTHING. Again I will say this. Norbert could have scored 20 points plus EASILY, if most of his shots used the board. But he insists on those chippy short hooks, and under duress, that shot will always be 50-50l. Teams have already studied and anticipated his moves and he will have a more difficult time come the second half of the tournament. Let’s just trust big man coach Jun Limpot to teach the big man the shooting basics. Jun made a living from the baseline jumpers like Tim Duncan during his career.
There were also comments on the coaching staff’s rotation last night, particularly, the point guard. Tallo played great yesterday, but it was Thomas Torres who got the lion’s share of the minutes, specially during crunchtime. To this I say to them. It was a coaches decision and Thomas, to his credit, ably filled in the court generalship chores of an injured LA Revilla. While it was true that Tallo played great yesterday, and that I also agree with them that at certain moments during the game, he could have been used more extensively, Thomas was more of a system point guard, while Tallo is a razzle dazzle type. I probably will go further to state that with his outside shooting going in, we probably might have used him as a two guard. But again, remember that LA was injured, and Almond Vosotros is STILL missing this season. So, I think the coaching staff had to alternate the two at point. If Tallo were used at 2 for instance, our winning play was made by a 2 guard, defensive specialist Jed Manguerra. So there. Coaches decision.
Inevitably, we come down to WHY we cannot score a big win this season. Well…….at the risk of sounding like a broken record, what do you think the answer is? FREE THROWS!!!!!! 3 out of 12 during the first QUARTER alone. Hey, that isn’t even pressure time guys. It was the FIRST QUARTER. RELAX GUYS!!!!!!! Just shoot your free throws in a relaxed manner. It is all mental at this stage. The more eager you want to prove that you are good free throw shooters, the more they go awry. True that this is the single, probably the only reason our games are always a toss up at the end. And it’s also true that come pressure time, we may not make our free throws. But really, the FIRST QUARTER?????? I think the boys are just really tired of hearing about this. Well then as La Sallites, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!! But make no mistake about it. Despite this problem though, we are DANGEROUS this season.
“The One That Got Away or The One That We Escaped From. Glass half full or glass half empty. Take your pick. It’s really is a toss-up.