Heather Cooke

Heather Cooke


NOBL Day 4

NOBL Day 4 (November 30)

Day 4 Game Results

Game 1: Cobras 82 def. Giants 56

Game 2: Cyberpythons 86 def. Ayala 27

Game 3: Vikings 69 def. Stallions 65

Game 4: Rebels 57 def. SD Vipers 56

Game 5: WFM 69 def. Titans 56

Game 6: Cobras 85 def. Ayala 54

My Thoughts on La Salle Basketball

The second round of UAAP Men’s Basketball will kick off this week and I just can’t wait for it to start. After tallying a 3-4 card in the first round, I’m eager to see the Archers bounce back. Out of the 7 games played in round 1, I was fortunate enough to watch 6 of them. I did not take any notes in any of those games, but I’ll try to write some of my observations in their past games.

I’ll get straight to the point. I really feel that there’s something wrong with the coaching, specifically with Juno Sauler. Not that he’s not good, but I just find him to plain and passive. I mean, there’s nothing wrong if you’re a relaxed and reserved guy, but I just think that he needs to make his presence felt more. A good coach is more than just the plays and the Xs and Os. A good coach should be able to connect with his players and I honestly think that that’s is something that’s lacking with Juno. I believe in his skills as a coach because he can design good plays, but more than that, he should be able to relate to his players more. Keep in mind that he is coaching college players who might need more guidance and mentoring compared to players in pro leagues. But even with this flaw, I believe in him as a coach, though I really think that he needs some improvement.

Arnold Van Opstal was a revelation. I enjoyed watching his dunks last season, but this year is entirely different. It was quite enjoyable to see him waiting for drop passes last year for easy dunks, but this year, he showcased an array of post up moves that left many quite shocked. Apart from his improved post up/big man moves, another thing that I really like about AVO is his consistency at the line. With the entire La Salle team struggling to make shots from the line, AVO calmly sinks FTs after FTs when he gets the chance. In terms of performance, he may already overshadowed La Salle’s starting center, Norbert Torres, but I still believe that AVO should always play off the bench. His intensity and his raw energy always translates to something good when he comes to play. I’m hoping that Norbert can replicate AVO’s success, not just for the benefit of the team, but for himself as well. Norbert seems to have very little confidence left in himself and it’s about time for him to show what he’s made of. We probably should thank Jun Limpot for developing AVO and making him a threat in the post/paint. Let’s hope that he can get the same level of success with Norbert Torres.

I don’t know if it’s just me or there’s really something not right with Jeron Teng. To be quite honest, I was more impressed with Jeron in his rookie season compared this year. His level of play is just not the same as last year and I can only think of 2 possible reasons. First, he may be starting to feel the pressure of being labeled as the “King Archer”, which in my mind pointless. There’s no need to dub any of our players as the “King Archer” because it can lead to an inflated ego which we all know is not good. If the player dubbed as “King Archer” fails to deliver the team/crowd/community’s expectations, he will lose confidence which is really unfortunate. Jeron sure is an alpha dog in the team, but let’s try not to label him as the “King Archer” because I honestly believe that there’s no point calling him that. The second reason why Jeron is not as dominant as last year is probably because he style of play has been heavily scouted before. His slash and drive moves are no longer effective as last year. And if this is the case, expanding his arsenal is his best bet. Jeron is not know for his outside shooting and now is actually a good time to start working on that aspect. He should also learn to pass more since this penetration moves are usually defended well.

Intensity should never falter. It’s as simple as that. The level of intensity should be consistent all throughout the game. The team should realize that the game is 40min long and their focus, intensity and will to win should be consistent the whole time. There’s no time for cruising around. If there’s an opportunity to win, the team should never let it slip away.

That’s just about it for now. I’ll try to come up with something else before round 2 starts, that is if I find the time to actually write something. Anyway, good luck to DLSU Green Archers and rest of the teams in the UAAP. Let’s have a successful round 2 on our way to the Final 4. ANIMO LA SALLE!

Keep it green.

Gilas Falls to Iran 85-71

Gilas Pilipinas settled for the silver medal finish after suffering a loss against powerhouse Iran. The team may have not secured the gold medal, but the entire tournament was pretty much successful. We hope to continue our success when we compete in the FIBA World Championships next year. Let’s continue to support our basketball team and all our athletes representing our flag. LABAN PILIPINAS.

Gilas Beats Korea 86-79

Gilas Pilipinas beat South Korea to move on to the Finals of FIBA – Asia against Iran tomorrow. The team played most of the game without Marcus Douthit when he hurt his injured leg early in the game. Marc Pingris and Ranidel de Ocampo teamed up to fill the void in the paint left by Douthit. Pingris played inspired basketball the whole time and provided quality minutes even though he also played hurt. His passion paid off in the end when he finished the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds and a big win against Korea.

The team started the game so-so and ended the first half down by 3. When the team realized that they might have to go through the entire game without Douthit, everyone awakened and drained bucket after bucket in the third period. Late in the in the final period, Korea was still slugging it out and Jimmy Alapag drained a big 3 to extend the lead. In the end, Gilas’ passion, determination and heart overcame adversities ad came out on top.

This is a very emotional win for Philippines after several heartbreaking defeats our country experienced at the hands of South Korea. Tonight we celebrate but our mission is far from over. The tournament is not yet done and tomorrow will be another day. Iran is definitely a tough assignment, but we all know that Gilas will not back down. Gilas will definitely step up and overcome a daunting task ahead. Good luck to Gilas Pilipinas. LABAN PILIPINAS. PUSO.

La Salle Ends Season with a 3pt Loss to Ateneo

After everything’s been said and done, all I have to say is it was a good run by the Archers.  For what was known as a ‘rebuilding season’, La Salle managed to crack into the Final 4 and face their archrivals and defending champs, Ateneo Blue Eagles.  During the eliminations, we lost both our games against them by 10 points.  Going into the semis, I was hoping that La Salle learned from their mistakes and that they would put up a good fight.  And they did.

From the get go, it was a really competitive fight.  Unlike our first 2 meetings against them, we did not let the Eagles storm out of the gates.  We paced with them the entire game and even mounted an 11 point lead in the second half.  It was heartbreaking to watch the lead dwindle little by little, no thanks to the heroic efforts of Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, who scored 16 points in the payoff period (to end the game with 28 points and 12 rebounds).  In  my opinion, La Salle made crucial mistakes and the opposing team made sure to exploit them.  La Salle had a comfortable lead when they suddenly threw 3pointers.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with that if they can drain the shots, or if those were indeed carefully selected shots.  La Salle should never have settled from long distance.  We should have tried to make high percentage shots by attacking the rim.  Joshua Webb also had a couple of bad plays which Ateneo took advantage of.  I understand that there’s no point in crying over spilled milk, but I just can’t help think about the what if’s.  There are no excuses, they won and we lost.  Congratulations to them and good luck on their Finals bout with UST.  La Salle may have made crucial mistakes but I’m still proud if what our team has accomplished this season.  Kudos to each and everyone on the team!

Jovet Mendoza and Webb are both graduating and won’t be back next year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the hardwork and all their contributions to La Salle Basketball.  The core of our team will remain intact and the latter part of this season just showcased what we can bring to the table.  Our basketball season may be over for now, but the La Salle has a lot of positive things to look forward to. ANIMO LA SALLE!

Good luck to Ateneo Blue Eagles and UST Growling Tigers!

keep it green.