After a tightly-contested Game 1 of the UAAP Finals, the DLSU Green Archers and the UST Growling Tigers have shown fans that this series is more than just a “Teng vs. Teng” affair.
Both teams came in hot entering the finals; UST had to win three straight games to get to this stage while DLSU swept the second round and made quick work of the FEU Tamaraws in their Final Four match-up. Something had to give in Game 1 and fittingly, it came down to the last possession. Either team could have won it.
Here are some things to watch for as we prepare ourselves for another exciting game:
La Salle's Keys to Victory
Starting Out Strong
La Salle came out flat after essentially a week’s break from action as UST waxed hot in the first. They were down 21-4 at one point in the game, and Arnold Van Opstal’s early foul trouble did not help their cause. They did recover eventually, but the first quarter outburst clearly gave UST a boost of confidence, which they used to finish the game strong.
DLSU needs to impose their will early in the game as they did when they came back from an early deficit if they want to win Game 2. UST shoots their way in and out of games, and if you’re a DLSU fan, you’d want them to do the latter. By taking control of the game early, they can force UST to play out of control trying to make up for lost points.
Defend the Perimeter
In game one, UST was able to shoot their way to the win, knocking down shot after shot from the perimeter. DLSU has the clear advantage in the middle, but they can’t dare UST to take those outside shots because they will gladly take them. It’s like telling your kid brother to play until he runs out of game lives; it worked in the age of Family Computer, but to a kid of the iPhone era, you just might have lost your playing time.
Focus on Strength
While DLSU has an advantage up front, they have a really small backcourt. In crunchtime, they had LA Revilla and Almond Vosotros in both guard spots. Both are integral to the DLSU offense; LA is the steady floor general while Vosotros is the long-shot artist. However, that forced Vosotros to take on Jeric Teng one-on-one on defense; a matchup Jeric exploited countless times.
Instead of trying to keep up with the UST offense, DLSU could switch up their lineup to adjust matchups defensively. This way, they can focus on a “dump it inside” offense while exploiting a size advantage at every position on defense.
NEXT: UST's keys to victory
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