* UE won over UST by a whopping 23 pts., 97-74 to clinch a finals slot in the FMC Open Cup. I was actually cheering for UST, after all, they seem to have the most gorgeous fans around, he-he-he. But w/ UST out of the finals, we probably won’t get to see those ladies soon (sob).
* UE went into a full court press right from start, getting a 27-1 lead, & never looked back. The best UST could do, was cut the lead down to 10 in the 3rd quarter. But they ran out of steam, & the lead ballooned again to 20 plus points after that.
* Having a tall backcourt gives UST some advantage in some situations, but I also felt it made them vulnerable to a full court press because that tall backcourt might not have enough ballhandling ability to resist the pressure of a full court press, & that was true in this game. UST’s offense was in shambles because of that press, committing turnover after turnover, & they couldn’t run their plays well. Pido was forced to switch to a smaller backcourt to try to correct it.
* The biggest beef I have against Japs Cuan, is that he may be a decent ballhandler, but obviously not good enough to resist UE’s full court press. It was only after he was taken out & replaced by no. 8 that UST was able to restore some sanity on their offense. No. 8 was obviously a much better ballhandler than Japs.
* Hans Thiele played very well in the game, blocking shots & grabbing rebounds on defense. On offense, he didn’t show much of an inside game, but he has a good perimeter shoot, & can create shots facing the basket. He also has good reflexes, scoring off those quick passes underneath the basket. He looked shorter on TV, but in reality is probably a legitimate 6’5″ Center. W/ Marc Borboran out due to graduation, expect this guy to be UE’s main big man, & to have a breakout season this year. Kinda thin, though.
* Jervy Cruz got his tons of rebounds as usual, but was a non-factor on offense after being rattled by UE’s pressing defense. Missed a lot of shots underneath the basket, & just couldn’t carry his team thru.
* Unless UST gets good reinforcements this season, and/or they find a way to solve UE’s pressing defense, expect the next UAAP season to be a repeat of last season, w/ UE likely running roughshod over everybody, & hopefully winning the crown this time around.
* Another Pumaren w/ a great system in collegiate basketball: A team that presses effectively, runs the break on offense extremely well. They have good penetrators who are quick, w/ good crossover dribbles & good outside shots to break a halfcourt defense. Not only does he have a good system, but more importantly, he seems to have the knack of teaching, or finding players who could play well within that system. At times it almost looked like watching a Chinese or South Korean team out there. I wonder what the Pumarens are feeding their children that they end up being good college coaches.