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DLSU vs UP preview
by rick olivares
Both La Salle and UP survived furious rallies by their respective opening day opponents, NU and UE. The season debut jitters aside, both teams buckle down to work as they try to get ahead of the pack.
One of the key strategies employed by the Green Archers in their conquest of the Bulldogs was containing Alfred Aroga who looked like a pale imitation of himself from last season's force in the middle. Aroga battled double teams, foul trouble, and indecisiveness en route to a measly six-point outing.
La Salle had problems containing NU's two guards -- Gelo Alolino and JJ Alejandro -- who conspired for 31 points between them and nearly finished off a comeback. While in several instances, their players were lost in the maze of switches and screens scrambling to get a hand on either Alolino or Alejandro, they generally played good defense.
UP spotted UE with several huge leads. The Red Warriors were inept early as they couldn't score until Edison Battiler got going. For a team loaded with guards and stretch players, they were susceptible to UE's press (like they didn't know that was coming, come on). Thirty turnovers is quite a lot.
If Gelo Vito hadn't hit those three huge treys, UP might have ended up with a loss.
Contested field goals (previous game):
La Salle - 17/48
UP - 14/49
Uncontested field goals (previous game):
La Salle - 6/11
UP - 6/8
La Salle doesn't need to heavily cover UP's Cheick Kone but will have their hands full on Rensy Bajar's local crew that has a lot of gunners. If the NU game caused some concern they will need to play better perimeter defense against the Fighting Maroons who can bring a lot to bear -- Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio, JR Gallarza, Jet Manuel, Dave Moralde, and their new offensive weapon, Gelo Vito. These guys heavily rely on outside shots.
Both squads are lean on the inside and like to play a lot of small ball. They were both outrebounded by their opening day foes and that too is something they should look at considering NU and UE aren't particularly tall.
Fortunately for the two teams, small ball or not, they like to mix it up inside with La Salle's Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, and Prince Rivero leading the way. UP's Desiderio likes to post up and could get some help inside from Gallarza and Manuel. They should get Vito, Juruena, and Koen involved.
Points in the paint (previous game):
La Salle - 28
UP - 22
Perimeter points (previous game):
La Salle - 22
UP - 22
For the Green Archers, they hope to unleash Andrei Caracut who was bothered by some protective gauze atop his right eye. He uncharacteristically threw up three air balls in his UAAP debut. Look for Thomas Torres to get going after a poor first outing.
For UP, many players didn't do so well -- Manuel, Gallarza, and Dario who at one point was really rebuked by Bajar. Look for UP to force La Salle to the frenetic pace they prefer.