Triangle Offense

La Salle manages to stay afloat, keeps legacy hopes alive by _celestial
September 4, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Basketball, College Hoops | Tags: , , , , ,

The Univ. Of Santo Tomas Tigers has won only once over the De La Salle Archers since 1999. There’s something about La Salle that UST just can’t beat. Speed? FC Press? COACH? JINX? Well.


Then-off form La Salle ended their five-game tailspin and kept their slim final four hopes alive by escaping UST, 68-64, as veteran James Mangahas rose up to the occasion in a very tight and emotion-filled contest at the Araneta Colisuem today.

I know we won’t meet eye to eye when I try to discuss the obviously lopsided officiating, which was predictable from the onset, really, so I’d just start by commending Mangahas for his stellar performance tonight, squeezing in the 15 crucial points in mere 13 minutes. He even capped his amazing 5-of-8 shooting with a daggey trey, hitting right smack the heart of the Tigers’ offense with less than a minute left in the ball game, en route to the victory.

Mangahas crushed UST’s hopes in their first meeting, and he did so yet again in their second try. But wasn’t he really expected to pace La Salle, being the veteran that he is?

Inarguably, one of La Salle’s main problems this season is the lack of the a go-to-guy come crunch time, the one you give the ball to for the winning play or that player who takes charge in the run, and no has really responded to the golden call of Coach Franz Pumaren in the recent games. If only Mangahas found his rythm early in this season, or if the other veterans came to the rescue to the ailing La Salle, this final four situation could have been different.

Anyway, the Archers hit their strides early with the rookies and sophomores manning the floor, rolling to an 18-point spread in the first half. (Ofcourse, Bringas contributed a trey and probably 10 complaints, but it was all good.) The Tigers were able to cut it to 12 points before the very entertaining half time show featuring La Salle and UST’s male cheerers doing something that reminds me of Chris Tiu’s commercial for Greenwich (“PARE! SOBRANG CHEESY!). But it was a very nice gesture.

UST managed to tie the game at 43 all and kept it a close contest then on, underscored by Ababou’s tenacious offensive thurst. I daresay he’s really living up to this premature title of “King Tiger” and we just couldn’t discount Coach Raiko Toroman’s contribution to that.

However, UST was never able to pull away from La Salle in the second half despite their offense slowly picking up. They terribly missed point blank layups or short stabs and did poorly from beyond the arch, going 3 for 13. They were even lucky that La Salle committed too many turnovers. Plus, all of their lenghty wingmen got into foul trouble and they couldn’t do much on the defensive end because of it.

Because of the horrible three point conversions, Jeric Teng, who finished with subpar 10 points, wasn’t able to convince La Salle’s players to give in to his usually stingy fakes in the perimeter, limiting his trips to the line and ultimately limiting himself from possibly botched attempts. So you wouldn’t be surprised that no one took a trey after Mangahas’ pivotal triple to stay in the game because no one really got in the groove for UST the entire game.

UST had a chance to score in the winding minutes of the ball game.  But let’s just stay, things are too sticky to explain.


UST is still in fourth place with a 6-6 ledger while La Salle remains in the hunt with 5-7.

For Archers to be able to get a final four berth outright, they must hurdle FEU this Saturday and NU next week and hope UST loses all of their remaining games over Adamson and UE. For them to force a playoff between UST, they still must win all of their games and hope for UST to lose atleast one of their remaining assigmnents. But if they do lose to FEU this Saturday, they sure as hell should hope UST messes up all of their remaining games to force a playoff, which given the history between these two teams, could favor them.

The Tamaraws are obviously tough to beat though, and losing is actually not an option right now for the Archers with the Tigers just waiting eagerly in the wings.

La Salle has never missed the Final Four since the UAAP was reformatted in 1994. The schedule seems more favorable for UST. Could this possibly be Pumaren’s first time to just rest in the post-season?


UAAP August 30 (Saturday) Predictions by On Point
August 29, 2009, 3:24 am
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The De La Salle Green Archers (4-6), who are holding on for dear life to stay in contention for a semi-final berth, will clash with the uprising  Univ. of the East Red Warriors (6-4), who are finally living up to their potential as one of the top dogs pf the league after a so-so first round, in the main event.

La Salle, who suffered a sorry loss to spoilsport State U, is in a hostile situation with an egregious four-game slump, while UE tries to build on to their momentum as the semi-final round draws near.

Meanwhile, after being assured of a final four stint following a win against Adamson last week, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws (9-2) are now setting their sights on the twice-to-beat edge when they face the resilient University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (3-7) in the first game at 2pm.

FEU versus UP

thesportsminded: FEU by 11 points.

The Giant killers are once again in a match against a top ranked team. Can they pull another one? I just don’t think so. After losing to UE, the Tams wants to gain a much needed momentum going into the final four.

KC13: FEU by 12 points.

The dangerous UP squad might have gotten the hang of playing party pooper to final four hopefuls, but they wouldn’t be able to pull the same trick on Coach Capacio’s watch. FEU is hungry to take what they think is rightfully theirs—a twice to beat incentive coming into the semis and unfortunately for UP, they’re first on the to-do list.

OnPoint: FEU by 15

As a team, defense beats offense. Plus, the Tams just won’t allow back-to-back losses and they are out with a vengeance after that embarrassing loss to the Warriors the last time out.

DLSU versus UE

thesportsminded: UE by eight points.

Here’s the situation for La Salle: Win or Kiss the final four goodbye. They’re not officially eliminated if they lose but they’re more or less paralyzed as their chance won’t be fully in their hands anymore. This one, unlike UE’s runaway first round massacre, would be closer but I just don’t think La Salle has it in them to pull this one off.

KC13: UE by nine points.

UE has become virtually invincible downlow as of the late. There is now way La Salle could match UE’s intensity in the paint with just the rookies taking charge.

OnPoint: UE by 15 points.

Look for another disappearing act by the trio of Barua-Malabes-Mangahas. UE, meanwhile, is finally figuring the pieces out. Scary. End of the story.

FEU locks in final four berth; NCAA Friday (August 28) Predictions by _celestial
August 28, 2009, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Basketball, College Hoops | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

FEU hit their strides in the second half after a slow start to finally grab a ticket to the semi-finals, after being stopped on its tracks by the resurgent UE last Sunday, with the 84-75 drubbing of Adamson yesterday.

Also nearing a twice-to-beat incentive is the league-leading Ateneo  following an easy win over NU yesterday, holding them to one of the worst scoring outings in a quarter with only three points then finishing them off, 75-54.

Another win would give Ateneo a commanding twice-to-beat advantage to further solifiy their title defense.


Letran and Arellano, two teams who are fighting to shatter the idle fourth place tie (7-4),clash today in a crucial setto that will determine the remaining final four cast after San Beda, JRU and San Sebastian have virtually occupied the first three spots with their impressive campaign.

Arellano tries to repulse Letran anew after their 81-72 meeting that went in favor of the Chiefs in the first round. Letran, however, looks to avenge their loss with the help of the rejuvanted RJ Jazul,  who was held to a low eight points their last meeting, but has been lights out in their latest victories.

Emilio Aguinaldo College and Perpetual Help, who are prematurely out of the contention with 2-9, 3-8 cards, respectively, square off at 2pm.


pr_1249312058_EACGeneralslogoversus university-of-perpetual-help-dalta-system-altas

The Sports Minded: Perpetual Help by six points.

It’s just a matter of who would have a great game today.

KC13: Perpetual Help by eight points.

Perpetual has better scorers, expect them to give it all.

125px-Knightslogoversus pr_1249311895_ArellanoChiefslogo

The Sports Minded: Letran by five points.

This would be one heck of a game. Both teams are equally talented and it will all boil down to poise and killer instinct down the stretch. Experience plus Coach Louie Alas’ brilliance will be enough.

KC13: Letran by four points.

These two teams have waited for this day to come after they have been lodged  in a tie for so long. It’s one of the better match ups in the league where two of today’s best scorers in Giorgio Ciriacruz and RJ Jazul are tasked to lead their team. The one who will execute better in the payoff period will win it.

Ateneo, FEU look for easy W’s; UAAP August 27 (Thursday) Predictions by On Point
August 27, 2009, 2:35 am
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Top seed Ateneo Blue Eagles and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws will look to solidify their contention for the twice-to-beat advantage come final four when they face the National University Bulldogs and the Adamson Falcons respectively.

Ateneo (9-1), the only team yet to be assured of a final four seat, will battle listless National U (2-8) in the main event at 4pm while second seed Far Eastern U (8-2) , who’s eight game winning streak was snapped by Univ. of the East in its last game, will try to avoid another sleazy stint against the upstart Adamson (3-7) in the first game scheduled at 2pm.

A victory by the Tamaraws will finally earn them a berth to the final four.


thesportsminded: FEU by five points

In the first round, FEU narrowly escaped the Falcons. I see this battle being close as well. After an upset defeat in the hands of UE last Sunday, Coach Glenn Capacio won’t allow another.

KC13: FEU by nine points

Seeing how Adamson managed to rise up from their first round debacle, another upset to further derail FEU’s semis bid could be possible. However, considering FEU’s eagerness to seal the deal and the fact that Aldrech Ramos had a subpar performance their last meaning, Coach Leo Austria’s troop might need to double the effort if they want to win.

On Point: FEU by 10 points

throw out the first round result where the Tamaraws barely won. the Tams got crushed in their last game, they just won’t allow another one. Both of these teams love to play slow, both focus on their halfcourt sets but with FEU having the more potent offense and better defense, this game will be out of reach come second half.

blueeagleversus NU_Bulldogs_logo

thesportsminded: Ateneo by 18 points

What the hell?!

KC13: Ateneo by 15 points

Ateneo will win over NU. But anything can still happen. UP has proven so against La Salle and Ateneo. Ateneo wouldn’t want another sorry loss.

On Point: Ateneo by 16 points

Here’s the analogy: UP won over Ateneo while, NU beat UP. So which means NU can also beat Ateneo given the scenario? Not really, lest bad officiating and injuries. Why so? ’cause NU just doesn’t have the firepower to do so. Ateneo, with its man power, can easily defend NU, who certainly lacks players who can score.

Ateneo will win over NU. But anything can still happen. UP has proven so against La Salle and Ateneo. Ateneo wouldn’t want another sorry loss.
On Point: Ateneo by 16
Here’s the analogy: UP won over Ateneo while, NU beat UP. So which means NU can also beat Ateneo given the odd scenarios happened? Not really, lest bad officiating and injuries. Why so? ’cause NU just doesn’t have the firepower to do so. Ateneo, with its man power, can easily defend NU, who certainly lacks players who can score.

Somebody wants the MVP Plum: Wilson shoots the lights out by _celestial
August 26, 2009, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Basketball, College Hoops

JRU’s top gunner John Wilson literally hit nothing but net all game long after he bombed in nine three pointers to lead JRU to a commanding 95-85 victory over the St. Benilde Blazers today.

Wilson finished with a stellar all-around performance of 48 points and17 rebounds. He now holds the record for the most field goal conversions and three point conversions in a game at 18 and nine. These individual scoring triumphs don’t come around much in the NCAA so this is phenomenal.

Wow. Well, I need to hear what Jimbo Aquino has to say.


NCAA Wednesday (August 26) Predictions by _celestial
August 26, 2009, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Basketball, College Hoops | Tags: , , , , , ,

Someone’s birthday is today. EHEM. But we should all get back to work after a lazy tuesday. Shall we?

San Beda and JRU, two teams who have since trailed behind San Sebastian’s flawless records, try to come withing striking distance as they square off against hopefuls Emilio Aguinaldo College and St. Benilde, who both are in a threat of early elimination as the competion starts to heat up.

The Lions shoot for their eight straight win, nine overall, at 4pm today after suffering their lone loss over the Stags. The Bombers, on the other hand, aim to bolster their bid later at two, after a busy nine-day lay off.

The Blazers, meanwhile, have to whip past all of their remaining assigments to atleast get a shot at the coveted final four spot.


CSB-Blazers versus 125px-JRU_Heavy_Bombers_logo

The Sports Minded: JRU by eight points.

The Blazers mgith give the Bombers a bit of a test but the kalentong based squad wants to gain momentum going into the final four.

KC13: JRU by six points.

Their ain’t going to be stompin’ later (pardon my twang, lol), but the Bombers will likely prevail over the Blazers.

On Point: JRU by nine points.

If Marc Cagoco doesn’t shoot too much more that the stats can count, JRU is at its best. the bombers must take their time on offense to better utilize their good half court game.

san beda red lions image courtesy of kenneth pangilinanversus pr_1249312058_EACGeneralslogo

The Sports Minded: San Beda by 12 points.

All the Generals can do is give a decent fight maybe up to the third by Beda will be just due for another blow out game.

KC13: San Beda by 10 points.

Sudan Daniels will definitely make his presence known in this game, alright.

On Point: San Beda by 13 points.

San Beda’s gameplan must start with their big man. Once they score down low, open outside shots will follow and that’s all she wrote.

UE upsets FEU, ends streak; NCAA Monday (August 24) Predictions by _celestial
August 24, 2009, 12:11 pm
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UE kept FEU at the bay the entire contest by dominating on both ends of the floor as they handed the Tams its second loss, 87-72, after a proverbial eight-game streak last night to seize solo third.

The Warriors blitzed to an early lead and never looked back behind double digit heroics UE’s troika of Pari Llagas, Elmer Espirtu and Paul Lee. Llagas finished with a game-high 24 points.

After UST’s wrecking loss to Ateneo in the earlier game, 80-70, UE shatters the two-way tie and assumes third place that would pit them anew against FEU in the semis if the current place will remain idle until the end of the eliminations.

UST, on the other hand, holds on to a precarious fourth place spot with 5-5 record,  just a win and a half after La Salle who is at 4-6. The Tigers need to prevail on their remaining assigments over NU (August 30), La Salle (Sept 3), Adamson (Sept 6) and UE (September 10) to seal their standings.

The Tigers were held spellbound from the 6th minute mark of the fourth where Ateneo pulled away with the 69-62 lead from a 7-0 roll. UST inched in to within four, 70-74, with less then a minute to play on rookie Jeric Teng’s basket but the Tigers never scored then on.


After a crucial outing in the UAAP last night, today’s NCAA games will also be as crucial highlighted by two teams that seek to compound their bid for the coveted final semis spot, with the first three spots already occupied by the top three competitors in the league.

Arellano and Letran, who have been idle at fourth place on a identical 6-4 ledger, will take on the lowly Angeles U and Mapua respectively— two teams who have occupied the bottom of the standings since the start of the season. A much-needed win for the two teams will keep them on the hunt.


pr_1249569302_aufversus pr_1249311895_ArellanoChiefslogo

The Sports Minded: Arellano by 15 points.

Arellano will pound the Great Danes as they will solidify their chance for a final four slot with this win. Gio Ciriacruz will have a shooting spree as AUF doesn’t have anyone besides Matt Kearney who can bang in the lane.

KC13: Arellano by 20 points.

They can’t take the Angeles U lightly knowing the guys would want a dignified exit in the league. However, expect the Chiefs to dominate the Great Danes like the have done the last time out.

On Point: Arellano by a baker’s dozen.

Look for the chiefs to come out strong, all the pressure is on their side while the danes are just playing for pride alone.

logo2versus 125px-Knightslogo

The Sports Minded: Letran by 12 points.

If the Mapua show up the way thed did against the Lions last week, then this might be a game. If they don’t, put this one in the books for the Knights.

KC13: Letran by 10 points.

Despite an awful showing in their first meeting, Mapua will definitely give take a tough stand like they did against the league leaders in their last games. But still not enough to stop Letran’s scorers from pouring it in.

On Point: Letran by 12 points.

The Cardinals will make this a game early but, the Knights will pull away in the second half.Jazul wil deliver the goods with most of his shots from the outside.