Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

UAAP Season 78: Looking at the La Salle Green Archers

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Looking at the La Salle Green Archers
by rick olivares pic by izzy toledo

People are wondering why La Salle isn’t playing well. They are at 1-2 but could have been 0-3 had not NU bungled its late game chances even as the Green Archers faltered down the stretch.

Nevertheless, here are my thoughts.

They need more frontline scoring.
Let’s talk about their bigs — Prince Rivero, Abu Tratter, Jason Perkins, Larry Muyang, and JBoy Gob.

Right now, their frontline strength lies in the hands of sophomore, Rivero, who is playing superb. Rivero has proven able to slip in and around taller defenders with his high basketball IQ. There’s isn’t much wasted movement and he doesn’t make too many bad decisions. In three matches, while averaging close to 26 minutes of playign time, he has only turned the ball over twice. That is like a TO every 13 minutes of play. Summing up his game, Rivero is averaging 11.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in three matches.

He is the only bright spot so far. We’ll skip Perkins for now and save him for next. But looking at the others...

Tratter - 13.9 minutes per game. 1.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks. 
Muyang - 5.8 minutes in two matches. 3.0ppg, 1.5 rpg, and 0.5 bpg.
Job hasn’t even gotten a single minute of play.

Jason Perkins’ game has continued to go down.
A far cry from his first year in Season 76 where he shot the ball well, was a bundle of energy, and gave every foe a lot to handle down the post. Since that championship season, his performance has gone down. Some say it is because he is slimmer and might not be used to his weight. Er, I am not sure about that. It just might be coincidence.

Perkins, in three matches, is averaging 7.7 ppg to go with 9.0 rebounds. His rebounding is fine. It is his scoring that is down. Tracking his production, in all three matches thus far, he has scored in only two quarters in each game.

Vs NU: 2nd qtr - 7 pts and 4th qtr 6pts.
Vs UP: 2nd qtr - 3 pts and 3rd qtr 2 pts
Vs FEU: 1st qtr - 2pts and 4th qtr 3 pts

La Salle’s power forward isn’t the only one who isn’t playing well. There’s Thomas Torres who has been making uncharacteristic turnovers and misfiring.

DLSU’s 1-2 punch isn’t shooting very well
Jeron Teng is averaging 19.0 ppg while rookie Andrei Caracut is scoring 12.7ppg. Teng is shooting at at 40% accuracy rate while Caracut is at 39%.

Do they shoot too much? Maybe. But every team needs its gunners, go-to players who may score well or not. They aren’t shooting the ball very well. 

But you might want to take a look at these numbers.

Prince Rivero is shooting great:
3/6 vs NU 50%
6/8 vs UP 75%
4/8 vs FEU 50%

Rivero is averaging 11.3ppg on 59% FG shooting. His teammate, Julian Sargent is averaging 8.3ppg on 41% FG shooting. Both secondary scoring options are shooting better that the 1-2 punch of Teng and Caracut.

Let’s take a look at the scoring and FG accuracy of teams with good win-loss records.

Ed Daquioag 24.3ppg 52%FG 1apg
Kevin Ferrer 17.7ppg 48.6% FG 2apg

Mac Belo 16.7ppg 58.1 FG%
Mike Tolomia 15.0ppg 54.3 FG%
Roger Pogoy 13.3ppg 43 FG%
Raymar Jose 11.3ppg 65FG%

Paul Desiderio 10.7 36%
Jett Manuel 10.0 31%
Diego Dario 10.0 44%

Playing small ball.
What is "small ball?” Playing with a smaller line-up with stretch players so the team can run or provide more scoring options as opposed to fielding others who might slow down the offense.

La Salle was outrebounded by NU 47-42 with a 19-10 advantage in the offensive glass. Again, NU bungled its chances from the stripe and missed open shots in the endgame.

The Green Archers outrebounded the Fighting Maroons, 50-37, yet they lost. The Maroons eked out a win because they shot better from the field and DLSU crumbled in the end with costly turnovers and offensive fouls.

Against FEU, even if La Salle got crushed on the boards, 53-40, they scored more inside points, 34-30. They were killed by the perimeter scoring. Just like they did against UP. That means they are so worried playing small ball they try to double team the opposing team’s taller players — like Aroga of NU and Prince Orizu of FEU who had his breakout game against La Salle — that they scramble to rotate out. 

Against NU, I was surprised to see La Salle’s players getting lost in the maze of screens running after JJ Alejandro and Gelo Alolino who got a lot of open looks. 

This is the team that wrote the book on staggered screens to free up its shooters.

What can La Salle do?
Aside from Perkins and Torres playing better, they might want to consider moving that ball around a bit and giving more shots to Rivero and Sargent. And they might want to involve Larry Muyang and Abu Tratter a little more.

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