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
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.
LATE GAME MELTDOWN
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.