[UAAP Season 78] DLSU Green Archers: If they can believe, they can achieve

The stone is set. It has to come down to this. The DLSU Green Archers have one chance to extend this season and it will be against the heavy favorites FEU Tamaraws.

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In the eyes of any casual basketball observer, it was over before it started.

The loss of Ben Mbala and Arnold Van Opstal spelled doom for the green and white squad. Without a legitimate game-changing center, the Archers wouldn’t stand a chance.

Technically, its true. In Basketball, height is always might. No exceptions. With all the other UAAP teams parading a foreign 5, it will be doubtly hard for the undersized squad to contend.

It was quite obvious in the elimination round as the Archers would keep up with the tall teams up until the third period but would eventually be stifled by a rigid zone defense.  The come from behind win by Adamson was the perfect example of this, as Papi Sarr dominated in the end.

In whatever basketball continent you look a dominating center is vital in every campaign. Whether its in Spain with the Gasols or with Drummond and Howard for the US. But this is college basketball and anything can happen.

Looking at the Archers opponents in the final elemination game, the FEU Tamaraws, the task seems to be quite daunting. In the first round, the Tams were matched by the Archers in the first half but the Morayta-based squad shot the lights out in the second half to get the easy win.

It will be hard but if the Archers play their cards right, its a ball game as far as I’m concerned.

FEU has been solely a Mike Tolomia team and everything else seems complimentary at this point. but don’t get me wrong here, they’re really good individually. If there’s one thing odd about FEU’s campaign this year is the unusual snub of Mac Belo on the offense.  Something the Archers can take advantage of.

The NU Bulldogs just fought tooth-and-nail against the Tamaraws to secure their playoff spot for the final four. The SM-backed squad never gave up defensively and offensively for 39 minutes to hack out a win with superb execution in the final minute.

The Archers could learn a great deal from this. They have to understand that they could not give up in any circumstance.  NU didn’t give up which won them the game.  La Salle should to the same until the final whistle. The Tamaraws will make their shots, do spectacular plays. But the Archers should keep up, spectacular or not.

 

In all of the won games for La Salle, Perkins has been the constant presence althroughout. Jeron Teng will get his points, Prince Rivero will get his from broken plays, but the missing link has always been Perkins.

If La Salle focuses on the hefty lefty, it will change the game.  Coming into the season, Perkins was sculpted for a smaller position but circumstances have forced him to be a stretch five.

Yes, a five. He’s been forced to play center (mostly in defense) in almost all crucial situations and that has to stop. The coaching staff must find a way to streamline his excessive defensive duties for him to matter offensively which La Salle urgently needs.

Giving Tratter more minutes would definitely help this cause. It is very hard from a coach’s perspective, but La Salle has no choice but to roll the dice at this point.

Execution has been the bane of DLSU this season and from the way I look at it, all boils down to self belief.  The players this season have had decorated high school careers and all that experience should be enough to make a difference.

The bench in Carracut, Navarro, Tratter, and Larry Muyang should step up to undo this below-par season.  They have the skills but its up to them to deliver. Self-belief is the key.

By now the coaching staff is already working on cutting down the rotation and focusing on the standard and situational plays.  Now its time for the players to adapt and deliver.

La Salle has come in this season under-powered but not unbowed. If they were gonna make history, they should do it one game at a time.

 

If they can believe, they can achieve.

The Curse of the Upgraded UAAP Seat

On the eve of Game 3 of the UAAP Season 77. I can’t help but think that the Final Four loss by DLSU, was on me. “Ako yung malas”. It was not because of Mac Belo, it’s because of my seat, the curse of my upgraded seat.

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It all started in Game 2 of the 2001 UAAP Finals. My friends camped out in Araneta days before the game and scored ‘Upper A’ tickets for our barkada. We were ecstatic going to the game and were happy with our ‘Golden’ Seats. Oddly enough, Ateneo beat us during that game. It was terrible. Getting good tickets and losing a high stakes match was really bad.

The same thing happened in the 2002 final where we also lucky to get Upper A seats in the final, but lost to an Ateneo team who hadn’t won anything since the 80’s. That was when i confirmed that having better seats in a playoff or final match is not a blessing, but a curse.

I thought i broke the curse when I watched a crucial Ateneo La Salle game last year. I ended up in the Patron area and the team beat their rivals easily and eventually became champions that year.

When I met my buddy Chester before the last playoff game with FEU, he mentioned that the Upper B tickets we have could become Upper A. Minutes later, the possibility of getting Patron tickets happened because of the heavy downpour and our friend Drews couldn’t make it. I was a bit excited of the idea of getting prime seats but the idea of what happened during college was a possibility. I shrugged it off as I was confident of the teams momentum.

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The signs where there. The DLSU drums got stuck in traffic and the FEU gallery had a full house. But when Julian Sargent made that three in the fourth, I thought I was gonna break the curse. Then it happened on the last play, the last second, and the last shot.

I was stunned. Mac Belo just made a hell of a shot from the three point line. It felt like being the main character in a Final Destination movie knowing that you were the cause of everything. The curse found a way to get back at me but in a more painful way.

My goal for next year is to break this curse. But in order to break it, I would need the help of the following: Ambassador ECJ, the coaching staff, OSD, and the DLSU Admin. I would like to make an appeal. Please, Maawa kayo. . . Paupuin niyo na ko sa Patron please!

No more bad luck, only championships!

PS

Congratulations to the NU and FEU for making the finals. Only the best teams make it there. Best of luck in Game 3

The Perfect Pass Podcast – Episode 4

Quickie post on UFL Quarterfinal Recap, Semis & Finals Prediction, PBA Weekend: Romeo vs Caguioa, PBA Rookies

Did this over a few beers so I hope you learned a thing or two.

https://soundcloud.com/ivangeoffrey/the-perfect-pass-podcast-3

Top Ten Reasons why the Green Archers should win today

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#10 – Because it’s Coach Juno’s “choice”

#9 – It’s Thomas Torres’ birthday (Happy Birthday Bro!)

#8 – Kevin Ferrer is a douche

#7 – The venue is the MOA Arena (aka 2nd Round Swerte)

#6 – The Lady Archers already won (so no excuses there)

#5 – Kevin Ferrer is not only a douche but also a primadonna

#4 – Jun Limpot will (again) say “We are the Championship!”

#3 – Coach Juno will smile (and maybe crack a joke)

#2 – Ateneo is not in the Final Four (mehehehehehe)

#1 – Boss Danding will give away free San Miguel Beer!!!