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.
Some thoughts about: UFL Round of 16, Azkals vs India, and PBA: Fajardo vs Slaughter
After dispatching Kazakhsatan with the resurgence of Gary David, The Philippines takes on Korea for an outright birth to the finals and the 2014 FIBA World Championships.
Another Good Start
The players showed a very promising start against the Kazakhs which eventually dictated the pace of the entire ballgame. They need to repeat this performance against the taller and more agile players from K-Pop country. Controlling the paint will be key in deciding this semifinal matchup.
South Korea is a well-oiled machine as the team runs through their plays efficiently and always find the best shot in a possession. Star of the team is Sung-min Cho (#10 G/F) who’s an inside-outside threat together with Ho-Young Yun (#9 F) Seung-Jun Lee (#14 F/C) form a triple-threat. Manning the middle are the tag team combination Joo-Sung Kim and (#11 F/C) Jong-Kyu Kim (#12 F/C) tall lanky guys with great jumping ability. Korea has a good rotation of guards that can come in and contribute right away. Because of their efficiency and sound basketball fundamentals, anyone in the team can inflict damage to the opponent.
The Nationals should carry over their good defensive performance. Gilas should quickly adjust to the pace of the Korean Pick & Roll + Motion offense. If they figure out the switching of Korea, there is a big chance that they can win convincingly. It is critical for Aguilar and Douthit to limit their personal fouls against the Koreans.
Everything clicked for us against Kazakhstan outside. Timely 3 point bombs from David, William, and Norwood took the Kazakhs by surprise. The performance should certainly work to our advantage and will give our bigs the chance to carve the paint. A good balance of inside/outside will bring us to the finals.
Playing against a tough opponent is not that bad when you’re at home. Expect the crowd to really be a factor in today’s matchup. With the momentum on our side and the sense of urgency on the players, I am expecting a victory tonight which will exorcise the demons of the past.
Gilas Pilipinas will be at the crossroads of history tonight as it faces Kazakhstan in a bid for a seat in the tournament semifinals.
A Good Start
The Philippine team has played its biggest games when starting out strong. Wins against Japan and Qatar were fueled by strong starts. Tough games against KSA, Taipei, HK were all flat ones. We are the best 3rd quarter team in this tournament but a good start in every game next level.
Kazakhstan in my opinion has decent outside shooters and the most agile bigs in this tournament. Mikhail Yevstigneyev #7 is a bigger Noli Locsin with solid post moves and enjoys the physicality of the game (I would have compared him to Beau Belga but he really doesn’t have the outside shooting). Against China, they employed the drop pass pretty well having Jeremy Johnson as the bait. Though Johnson is rumored to be injured, it will only slow him down.
Stopping Johnson is key as they do not have better point options on the bench to distribute the ball well. Kazakhstan is a really good rebounding team even if they are against taller opponents. Japeth Aguilar and JunMar Fajardo should work harder in defense as Marcus Douthit is slowed down by a painful shin injury. The Philippine team has played its best defense in 2 of their convincing wins and it they should do so against this Kazakh team. Defense wins … Championships.
Expect the Kazakhs to clamp down on Jeff Chan tonight. LA Tenorio and Jimmy Alapag should break out of their mini-slump for us to have a better chance. Jayson Castro William, the hero of the pre-tournament encounter, will be checked pretty well as the other teams have figured that he doesn’t have a consistent outside shot. Gary David needs a big game tonight in order to stretch the defense some more. A big shooting night will disrupt all scouting reports when Gilas progress in the tournament
It has been proven that anyone can win this tournament. Rankings do not matter and is just a number. Gilas should know this as HK beat them to the pulp in the first two quarters of the last game. A good start, great defense, and consistent outside shooting will bring us to the semis. As Bob Guerrero pointed in his tweet: There are only 3 cheers u need to learn when supporting Gilas in #fibaasia2013 : “Laban Pilipinas”, “De-fense” and “GA-RY! GA-RY!”
PS. Wear White and Cheer (and Jeer) like there’s no tomorrow