* Burger King defeated the Nokia-RP Youth team by 22 pts., 83-61. 20 + point losses generally aren’t good, except that I thought the beating would be worst. But it wasn’t. The older, more seasoned Burger Kings never led by more than 23 or 25 pts. in the game, & at the half they led by only 15 pts., 49-34. Not bad for a bunch of High School kids playing their first game against players who are as much as more than a decade older than them.
* Its obvious though that the team still needs a lot of work:
– Some players in the court at one time had trouble moving the ball around when the defense pressed them closely;
– They had trouble setting up their offense during a full court press (though they didn’t seem to turnover the ball that much);
– And when they tried to press Marcy Arellano on the sides at half court, most of the time Marcy was able to just dribble thru it & making them pay for it by scoring quickly
– The Youth players were missing a lot of open shots, they just couldn’t seem to buy a basket at times
– The shots they made were either outside shots, or drive in plays. Almost no inside presence whatsoever
* I was expecting to see a cat-quick, high-leaping player in Papot Paredes, but instead, I saw something a bit less:
– He’s definitely not 6’7″, as the 6’7″ Lawrence Bonus had a visible height advantage over him; He looked a bit shorter than the 6’6″ Jason Ballesteros, so that would make him only around 6’5″ at best
– He’s quite thin, & standing beside a hulking Barcellano, he looked FRIGHTENINGLY thin. It was like watching the no. “10”
– I didn’t see any exceptional quickness in Paredes, & his leaping ability was not exceptional, though I did see him block a shot or two
– He made 3 perimeter shots, 2 of them from the 3-pt. area. He definitely seems to have a great touch from the perimeter
– At this point in his career, I’d compare him more like a Paul Sanga / Robert Kave / Hans Thiele type of player, a tall, outside shooting big man, w/ very little or no post game on offense. I think it will take some time to bring him to the level of those guys. W/ that lean frame, he doesn’t look like he’s built for frolicking in the paint, anyway.
– Just his luck, though, as he ended up w/ what seemed like an ankle injury midway into the 4th quarter. He will likely miss some games, further worsening this team’s frontcourt problems.
* Among the players, the ones that impressed me most were the Point Guards Terso & Tolentino. Tolentino played without the fear & tentativeness of most of the other players, bringing down the ball quickly, & w/ a lot of authority. He also made 1 or 2 difficult layups, & even making a no-look assist pass. Terso also brought down the ball quickly despite pressure from the other PG, made a couple of good passes & therefore distributed the ball around well against the half court defenses. Which was why I was wondering Franz would give more minutes to Garcia at Point, when he obviously didn’t seem to have made as much impact as those 2 other Point Guards.
* The biggest worry w/ this Youth team, though, is the lack of effective big men who could clog the lanes & get those rebounds. Despite getting blocked a couple of times, the Burger Kings were able to effectively attack the paint w/ penetrations & passing plays, & had overwhelming control of the boards on both ends of the court. Golla is wider than Paredes, but obviously still learning, as is this team’s other big men.
* There were flashes of promise, though. Teng & Marata made some flashy, difficult layups inside the paint; That bald Mendoza seems to have good spring in his legs, mixing it up well inside the paint on one play. Manguera seems to have shot well from the perimeter. As they settle down & play more games against PBL teams, I think we’ll be able to see which players will be able to bring their game up to the next level.
* I wonder though, if players like Ryan Buenafe, or Nico Salva would’ve made an impact right away w/ this team. They could also most certainly use guys like Junmar Fajardo (if he’s still eligible) & Niko Monachini in the frontcourt.