Almond Vosotros resurgence is a signal. It is a signal that if we play our cards right, we can go all the way this year. Almond is the Ren Ren Ritualo-Jayvee Casio gunner we have been lacking in our roster, a crucial piece of the puzzle, a corner piece actually. Like I stated before, I came out even before the season, that Almond Vosotros will be THE key player for us this season, and THIS is precisely the reason why. His outside shot, and the way he can create it.
Almond can come out of screens, or manufacture an outside shot from the dribble, either using screens, fakes, or his dribbling skills. He is also versatile in that he can be a 1 or 2 guard. With him clicking like this:
He becomes our consistent third scorer (Jeron Teng, and either Norbert Torres or a healthy LA Revilla being the other 2). The support cast is also there.
With his outside shooting, he loosens up the interior, to allow the likes of Jeron Teng, Norbert Torres, Yutien Andrada, Jovet Mendoza and Arnold Van Opstal to operate.
He can now come in as the starting point guard (to get his shot rhythm going), thus preserving LA Revilla’s injury. LA can be used at crucial stretches of the game and Almond can now easily slide into the 2 guard position for outside shooting threat.
Most importantly, he has allowed the coaching staff to optimize the versatility of our back court, traditionally, La Salle Basketballs’ strength. We always do well when our guards are our scorers while our big men are our supporting cast. Reminds me of the days of Casio, Ritualo, Yeo, and Cardona, to name a few, being supported by the likes of Adonis Sta. Maria, JR Aquino, Jerwin Gaco, Carlo Sharma, and Rico Maierhofer, to name a few of them. This is the European style of basketball, Lithuania and Greece as prime examples.
UP played a hell of a game yesterday and up until the last four minutes, they were very much in it. We created separation because of Almond’s outside shooting. So look at the team now with Almond playing like this. Revilla at point, Almond at 2, Jeron at 3, Yutien at 4 and either Norbert or Arnold Van Opstal at 5. Very very formidable first five. And except for Jeron, this is a two way team, meaning that this team can click on offense, and play very good defense as well. It’s hard to find a combination like that.
Take the Ateneo game. The Blue Eagles played a superb offensive game. They scored 77 points again, the same score they registered against us. BUT, they lost to UE. Why? Because despite Norman Black’s claims that they are doing it by defense, I have my doubts. Ateneo is trying to OUTSCORE their opponents at this stage of the tournament. They did not do a good defensive job on us. We scored 67 points on them. We lost because we had a bad offensive game in the first quarter. We had the shots but couldn’t make them, the inexperience and big game nerves being big factors there. Yesterday, the let UE score 79 points on them. With guys like Slaughter, Erram, Chua, and Golla manning the middle, that is not tolerable. Guess who scored the winning basket? A CENTER, Chris Javier.
It was good that we saw the first game. That gave us the resolve that we should NOT expect UP to roll over and die on us. And they didn’t. They gave us a hell of a battle. Their scoring distribution was very good.
Before we digress, let us go back to Almond. Almonds timing of his resurgence couldn’t have been better. It was like a script out of a Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones movie. Just as we were fearful that our leader LA Revilla, together with Yutien Andrada both went down with similar ankle injuries, Indiana Vosotros suddenly springs to life to save the quest for us. AND, he isn’t done yet. This still isn’t the Last Crusade for us. Far from it. And going into the Final Four positioning, we are coming on strong, just like the La Salle teams of old. Let’s just enjoy Vosotros and the rest of the team. It looks like they are putting on quite a show this year. And for Almond: You are a MARQUEE POINT GUARD. Part of some of the BEST in the league. I feel very good that we have TWO of them. And the supporting cast isn’t bad too.