Published on October 8th, 2015 | by JC Gonzales0
UAAP midseason report: DLSU Green Archers
Just like that, the long wait for the new UAAP season reaches its halfway point in the Men’s Basketball collegiate scene. As all schools played their first seven games of the season, we give our analysis on our Green Archers and how they fared considering the new faces in the roster; delve on the numbers, and think of what we can expect from the crew.
We started the season on a good note against the defending champions National University (NU) Bulldogs, which ended on a thriller since NU had a good run at the end but fortunately, we ended up as the victors. Afterwards, we lost to a powerhouse Far Eastern University (FEU) squad as we were in the losing end of a fiery run in the third quarter. We had our first losing streak against the upstart University of the Philippines (UP) team. We managed to pile up back-to-back wins against the young squads of Adamson University (AdU) and University of the East (UE).
And then we got stomped on by the hot-shooting of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigers but bounced back with a come-from-behind thriller against Ateneo to cap off our first round. Overall, this is good for a tie at third place behind UST and FEU. Generally, La Salle is known to be a team that can peak and notch the necessary wins to gather momentum heading into the post-season.
By the numbers
At the end of seven games, we rank third offensively by putting up 72.6 points a game but ranked sixth defensively by giving up 73.6 to our opponents. Compared to last season, the Green Archers are now the league’s third best rebounding squad (46rpg), a drop from Season 77 best (46.7rpg).
The Green Archers are third in terms of committing less turnovers with only 18 a game. A constant problem of La Salle throughout the years has been their free throw shooting. This year, they are shooting a 60.6% clip, a little below the league average which is 62.1%.
The loss of Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres and Yutien Andrada affected our mighty frontcourt back in the years that made the team settle for small-ball rotations. This also gave Coach Juno Sauler the task of shuffling our starting unit with Abu Tratter, Prince Rivero, and Larry Muyang having to at least start the five position for the Green Archers.
The Taft-based crew has paraded a lot of faces which showed promises in the early part of the season. Andrei Caracut is the team’s second leading scorer after Jeron Teng with 10.6ppg. Larry Muyang has been a productive machine in terms of rebounding the basketball and providing the hustle by chipping in at least five markers and five boards in an average of 13 minutes per contest. Moreover, Joshua Torralba, who missed the team’s first two games and has started four times has found the mark from the perimeter as he is the team’s leading shooter from downtown, averaging close to a 30% clip.
The Archers are also currently third in terms of the points scored in transition, 10ppg, which is an increase in last year’s league-worst scoring in fastbreak (6.8ppg). This resulted from the way the team run small-ball five on the floor, fitting to the team’s current height due to the departure of their marquee bigs in the prior seasons.
Despite shooting 19% from three-point territory, it is a good sign to see fourth year point guard Thomas Torres to break his scoring slump against Ateneo, hopefully to carry over the second round. Prince Rivero and Jason Perkins are providing the efficiency whenever they are on the floor. Rivero has been a solid contributor off the bench averaging 8 points and 7 boards per outing in 21 minutes of action while Perkins maintains his team-leading rebounding performance with about eight per game.
In the team’s losses against FEU, UP and UST, stats will say that the Green Archers have the tendency to be in a bad end of runs. La Salle is league-worst by letting teams shoot 29% from three-point land and third worst overall in opponent’s field goal shooting at 37.8%. Fortunately, some good signs in terms of being composed in the clutch has been displayed by the Green Archers in their wins.
Jeron Teng is the team’s leader as he tops the team minutes-wise, close to 32 a game. He is averaging 17.4 points per game, 7.1 rebounds a game and about 3 dimes per match. This is good enough for fifth in the current MVP race as he lags behind Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, UST’s Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag, and NU’s Alfred Aroga.
Meanwhile, Andrei Caracut is this year’s leader to bag the Rookie of the Year Honors as the former San Beda Cub standout is a reliable two-spot for Coach Juno Sauler. Caracut is averaging a triple a game and is the team’s leader from shooting in the free throw area with a 76.2% average.
FEU and UST are currently leading the pack with only one loss after seven games. Both teams also demolished our Green Archers in their games as they had impeccable shooting against La Salle. Sure, experience is not our edge against these veteran squads due to our revamped lineup but as one thing we can learn from watching the games, it is that anything can happen in the UAAP.
In the losses against the Tigers and the Tamaraws, it is not an entire game of domination for the other teams. In fact, the Green-and-White were on par, just to lose grip in the second half turnaround by the opponents. Come second round, La Salle can not afford to be in the losing end of a furious rally and the team must play for an entire 40-minute period.
Our quest for this year’s championship is definitely alive standings-wise as the big win against Ateneo gave us a third spot despite having a similar record with the Blue Eagles at 4-3. Second round is all about making adjustments and expect our crew to bounce back and improve in terms of making the necessary moves heading into the late stretch of the season.
La Salle opens up their second round on Sunday, 4pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum against the Growling Tigers.