FMC Open Cup FEU vs. UST

* I was able to watch the last game of the eliminations of the FMC Open between FEU & UST at the San Beda Gym, as I expected it to be a good game to watch, & I wasn’t disappointed. UST won, 73-69.

FEU

* First question about FEU, was where the heck was Pippo Noondou? Is he still w/ FEU, w/ their Team B, perhaps? The lineup that they had in this game was mostly their lineup last season, except for Paul Sanga, who wasn’t w/ the team, & Robert Kave, the only rookie it seemed to who saw good playing time.

* FEU really doesn’t seem to have much inside presence, & whatever problem FEU has in their frontline, am not sure if the 6’5″ Robert Kave is the answer. He is a deadshot from the perimeter, though. Took around 3-4 perimeter shots, didn’t miss any of them. Ironically, closer to the basket though, he missed a couple of shots. Rebounding-wise, he’s not really that great also.

* However, FEU was able to make the game close, thru their good outside shooting, tight interior defense, & some good passing plays. Mark Barroca, Benedict Fernandez & Robert Kave took turns carrying the offensive load for this team.

UST

* Unlike FEU, the UST players only had their jersey numbers on their uniforms, so I wasn’t able to spot if any of the new players played. It seemed, though, that UST had their full 2007 lineup for this game, & the usual suspects carried the load for the team; Jervy Cruz underneath the boards, Dylan Ababou hitting some difficult layups, Khasim Mirza & Francis Allera also hitting some shots.

* I felt that UST had the better players on an individual basis, but their biggest problem was that against FEU’s tight interior defense, they missed a lot of open, outside shots, especially in the 1st half, which was why they were not able to pull away despite their advantage. They were moving the ball well, the players were getting good looks for those outside jumpers, but they were just not sinking in.

* They were able to push the ball very quickly for some fastbreak points, though, & some of their outside shots went in in the 2nd half. Coupled w/ their superior inside presence, they were able to win the game. But that outside shooting weakness is something I think they will need to work on next season.

* Jervy Cruz really puzzles me. If you look at their lineup, there are quite a number of players there who are visibly taller than he is, like Chester Taylor, Mirza & even Allera. However, he still was the team’s best inside operator, w/ good quickness, great reflexes & great coordination. He is also barrel chested, he looks similar to JR Quinahan in terms of build. Not sure how far he will go in the PBA w/ that lack of height & leaping ability, but then again, if the 6’2″ Enrico Villanueva can make it, then I guess maybe Jervy could make it, too. As of now, though, I think he will make a decent role player in the PBA, despite the numbers he’s putting up now in the UAAP.

* Pido really likes to shout at his players. At times he seemed like he constantly had a megaphone w/ him

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