The De La Salle College of Saint Benilde Blazers started on the wrong foot to open their NCAA Season 91 campaign after falling to the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in a lopsided match, 82-53, last Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
The Blazers were led by the 16 markers of senior Jonathan Grey while former FEU Baby Tamaraw JJ Domingo scored ten points. For the Knights, team captain Mark Cruz top scored with 16 points as well and was backed by the 14 points of Kier Quinto.
The Blazers simply couldn’t find answers to Letran’s trapping defense all-game long. They either gamble on long outlet passes or simply cough up the ball to the oppositions’ pesky defenders when they attempt to break it. Another thing that they also lacked was their focus and ability to make in-game adjustments since the Knights made an effort to disrupt their rhythm for the duration of the entire match.
In addition, with Letran’s pressure defense engaged in full throttle throughout the contest, Benilde only shot 36.4% from the field, including a dismal 7.7% from downtown, committed 32 turnovers, and only had two steals all game long.
“It’s exactly the same when we encountered them [Letran] sa Filoil nung summer. It’s just na nawala kami sa focus and it’s all excitement and adrenaline for us so we weren’t able to execute our gameplan,” commented CSB head coach Gabby Velasco. “All the more they were trapping and pressing us and we were supposed have formations na kailangan namin gawin. Everything didn’t happen and Letran gave us a good impression for our opening game.”
After the game, Velasco also pointed out that his team must find ways to execute their gameplan better, stick to their fundamentals, and not let the opposition get into their heads again.
“It’s all excitement and focus and nawala ang execution ng gameplan,” Velasco further added. “We have to blamed here kasi ang mga kalaban namin is ourselves. Wala kami sa focus and then eventually noong malaki na ang lead parang nawala na ang confidence namin.”
Furthermore, despite the lack of frontcourt options, the Taft-based ballers can surely make up for it with their wing and guard depth if they are all on the same track.
“I think the [Benilde] small lineup is not really a big problem. It’s the way to attack, it’s the way to press and to break the press and trapping. It’s not the bigs and small guys but it’s the execution, the spots and the actions that are need to break it. If you look at the rebounding, hindi rin kami sa inside. Hindi masyadong factor dito ang size namin but it’s more of the skills on passing, dribbling and all. Sarili namin ang tumalo sa amin dito and of course may part din Letran.”
Now, with everything said and done, all the Blazers must do now is show a better and polished outing as they continue their NCAA Season 91 campaign against the University of Perpetual Help Altas, 2:00 pm, Friday at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
“Hopefully we will try to correct our mistakes here and we’re looking on our next game to improve and to regroup ourselves,” Velasco ended.