Been sick lately and it hasn’t been fun to say the least. Hasn’t stopped me from watching a bunch of games though, opinions on which forthwith:
UST – DLSU: I liveblogged that one and obviously, watched it from tip to double overtime end. Much like most observers I was going to give it to UST but let me say it again, over and over: I’ve learned better than to pre-judge a Franz Pumaren team. Year after year he comes in with a seemingly rag-tag bunch of guys from nowhere and he either gets to the Finals or takes the whole thing, so I’m not gonna fall into the same trap this year.
Lo and behold, just when UST looked like they had it, Barua, who was shooting 0-14 from the 3 pt line at the time, sank one to tie the game 90-all and force the 2nd OT. He later casually sank another 3 and at that point DLSU’s confidence was soaring whilst UST looked tired and fumbling. I caught Coach Jarencio ripping his kids after a botched play, followed shortly thereafter by Ababou watching a ball go out of bounds during a fumble that spoke of how drained he was. On the other hand, Franz’s lineup was fresh after a series of substitutions in the dying seconds, assuring that while his lineup wasn’t necessarily more talented, they were at least fresher down the stretch. Which brings me to my next game:
UST – FEU: Again, Coach Jarencio didn’t seem in complete control. There were moments when I thought he should’ve rested if not completely put Ababou on the bench for a seeming lack of will to play, but he stuck it out resulting in a less – than – expected 10 points for 2 of 9 percentage in 38 minutes of play.
FEU on the other hand, pounced on the situation with Barroca and Smart-Gilas teammate Cawaling contributing 10 and 15 respectively, with Noundou hitting 15 points and 11 boards, and excellent center Aldrech Ramos contributing a game high 22 and 13 boards, mostly on offensive rebounds.
Both games serve to tell me what I suspected about Coach Jarencio all along. He is an old – school coach focused on offense, demanding things from players that I feel aren’t necessarily ready yet. As a player, Jarencio was spectacular and the type of guy who changes games by his mere presence. Could it be the exacting standards he had set on himself aren’t fit for his College team yet? Of course it’s still early in the season to tell, but UST is one of those teams who doesn’t have a reason, in my mind, to fail. They’ve got more than enough weapons to get the job done and some, so the rest really is up to Coach J.
The final game I watched is Phils. vs. Sri Lanka yesterday at 9am, and from the score (115-31) there really isn’t much to say about it. Japeth Aguilar wanted to make it a dunkfest and did so for a while, and it’s a testament to how little there is to learn from this game from the fact that I’m talking about Japeth’s dunks.
Tonight though, is another story. Phils. will face Japan at 9pm in what might be it’s first true test of FIBA-Asia Ball. I’m looking forward to this one, and health willing I’ll go liveblog it.
Seriously, take care of your kidneys guys. Getting sick just ain’t worth it.