FEU needs a storm of a game | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

FEU needs a storm of a game

/ 10:35 PM September 29, 2011

Typhoon “Pedring” wreaked havoc on our country that should by now be so accustomed to storms. And yet in many aspects, we remained unfamiliar with some storm-related decisions like how to suspend classes faster and move flooded victims out of harm’s way without much resistance and difficulty.
The UAAP did the right thing to call off Game 2 of the men’s basketball finals last Tuesday.  Not all students have cars and drivers and most would have found it extremely difficult to go to the game or go home afterward in the flooded streets. Keep in mind that the city monorails were also inoperative that day.

Game 2 has been reset for Oct. 1 with defending champion Ateneo enjoying a one-game lead in the best-of-three finals.  Will the postponement have any effect?  The coaches will probably not admit it but they have welcomed the break to tinker a little more with what they had spotted as shortcomings of their teams in Game 1.
Four days preparation for a big game is better than two days work.  More video tape review, a few more court walk-through sessions and a little more time to rest injuries are most welcome.

Fans of both FEU and Ateneo need not worry about momentum and motivation.  This is the finals and a short series. The Tamaraws and the Blue Eagles know what they have to do.  The Pedring suspension may have piqued the youthful enthusiasm of the players but, being young, they have adopted quickly and accepted the force majeure impact of the storm.


They may hate the additional practice but they will relish the opportunity to be with their teammates a little longer before the seniors graduate no matter what the result of the finals is.


If this were a boxing match, FEU is the slugger and Ateneo the counterpuncher.   In two of three games this season, FEU has controlled the matches with substantial leads.  In the second round, FEU was leading by six with about two minutes to go when Ateneo refused to wilt.  Then in Game One of the championship, the Tamaraws took command early only to lose their grip of the game in the third quarter.

To equalize the series, FEU has to play team ball for four quarters.  When its lead is threatened, the players have a tendency to go on individual journeys.  The passion of the players to win is there but they have to do the job together.  Ateneo can easily close the doors on the individual forays of the Tams and turn them into fastbreak opportunities on the other end.

FEU must create a substantial lead, defend strongly and not allow Ateneo back into the game.  Being a counterpuncher, Ateneo checks how the game is going and then adjusts its response accordingly.  The only time it was unable to complete a turnaround was against Adamson in the second round.  Conversely, FEU must not allow Ateneo to establish the early lead because the Eagles will use their now reliable bench to hold the fort while their starters are cooling their heels.

FEU must come up with a storm of a game against an Ateneo team that feels that a fourth straight crown is within reach.  Storms are never good but FEU would welcome one coming from their area of responsibility in Game 2.

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TAGS: Basketball, Finals, Sports, UAAP Season 74

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