This appears on philstar.com
Tigers heavily favored vs rebuilding Falcons
by rick olivares pic by aj bolando
That's how Adamson will feel and think before every game this season.
After the success of recent years under Leo Austria they find themselves exactly where they were before Austria joined them in 2006 . at the bottom of the standings with not much relief in sight.
If the Falcons are unlucky they could wind up with zero wins all over again. Almost where they were before that fabled run by Austria that is now a distant memory. Management must regret chasing him out. Oh, well, hindsight is 20/20 vision.
What Adamson wants to do is run where Frederick Tungcab and Joseph Nalos can score. In order to run, you need to rebound and that is where the man with the coolest name in the UAAP comes in -- Gwall Cherif Sarr Soulemane! Look for Dan Ochea to try and establish himself as one of Adamson's go-to players.
It's a baptism of fire for all these players; veterans or not. For the Adamson faithful, it is going to get ugly before it gets pretty so you have to bear with this young team. This is going to be much like last season where Don Trollano and Jansen Rios led the team yet didn't get too much playing time the previous campaign.
If you want to cast your eyes to cross-league Mapua, those guys didn't win a game at all two years ago but look at them now. So take heart.
UST. They couldn't have asked for a better first game opponent. While it is presumptuous to say the game is in the bag, they are heavy favourites to win. To lose means they were upset by a team that is far from their caliber and an ugly loss could find this team unravel even before the season is in full swing.
They are better than Adamson in every department and in every position. Crushing the Falcons can get them in the right track and legitimise their contender status. A close win, well, doesn't augur well and will mean a moral victory for the Falcons
What the Growling Tigers are trying to do is to reform a team that is close to the ones that went to back-to-back UAAP Finals.
We all know what Kevin Ferrer can do; the question now is leading this team the way Jeric Teng did before.
Louie Vigil finally came into his own last season. With a better understanding of the game as well as maturity, he rediscovered his scoring touch. Louie has to play like Ferrer did years ago -- provide a lot of energy and what it takes for the team to do.
Scoring. They've got Karim Abdul, Ed Daquioag, and two people who will be counted on heavily -- Kent Lao and Mario Bonleon. Kent can reprise Aljon Mariano -- a stud up front who can hit the outside show.
Bonleon? He has the chance to be a wildcard because he has to learn when and how to pass.
Jon Sheriff and Renzo Subido will form an exciting backcourt. Sheriff, like Lao, started to round into form and become a more dependable player. It is hoped that Subbed can provide the same and reprise -- there's that word again -- what a guy named Jeric Fortuna brought to UST years ago. Same style of play. Same DLSZ alums.
It would be interesting to see how Karim goes up against Soulemane.
Pressure? Sure there is always pressure.
After all, this season is going to be much like last year where teams -- save for the Falcons -- have parity and can beat anyone on any given day.
Having said that, even if there aren't much expectations for Adamson other than to better last year's 1-13 finish, they don't want to get frequently blown out.