Injury cripples Archers’ lineup

The Green Archers’ offseason bid has been riddled with health problems and concerns, forcing some familiar faces to the sidelines and the bleachers.

The Taft-based squad, who are in their rebuilding era, has encountered problems with team chemistry, rotation and play adjustments because of an incomplete bench, which the injuries caused.

Starting center Arnold Van Opstal has been left watching throughout the FilOil Fying V Preseason Hanes Cup after incurring a partial tear in his hamstring during practice.

De la Paz, who has only played in five of the Archers’ games in this year’s FilOil tournament, suffered a recurring shoulder injury during the DLSU-Mapua bout.

Healing wounds

Marquee players skipper LA Revilla, back-up guard Oda Tampus, and big man Yutien Andrada, have recently received a green light to undergo heavy training after suffering mild foot injuries.

Andrada had just recovered from an ACL injury last season. He accidentally stepped on a teammate’s foot with his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) foot, obtaining a foot strain in his lliotibial band and his hamstring.


Struggling with team chemistry

Though the team started their offseason early after missing the Final Four bus, they were unable to exploit the opportunity to build better team chemistry due to a major roster overhaul, the entrance of rookies and injury mishaps.

“Players’ injuries are getting better…A lot of guys have been practicing already, but the hard thing about that [return of the veterans from injuries] is that they came in the middle of what we’re doing in the preseason and it somehow throws off the team chemistry,” head coach Abanilla said.

They never got to utilize their complete lineup in all seven games; ending with a mediocre record of 4-3 in the Fil-Oil tournament.


Blessing in disguise

Head Coach Abanilla also found it a blessing, since the other players, especially the rookies, had been raising their game.

“We’re very happy that some of the guys are stepping up. They should take advantage of it [opportunities], to show the coaching staff that they deserve to play,” he shared.

Jeron Teng averaged 10.9 points with 3.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists in 19.1 minutes in the seven FilOil gmes whil Mac Tallo, another prized rookie, contributed 6.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists in 21.7 minutes as a starter.

In regards to team conditioning, the DLSU training staff handles injuries with strengthening exercises, stretching and medical attention.

The Green Archers are optimistic that everyone would be physically and mentally healthy at the eve of the upcoming UAAP season.

“We have six more weeks. It’s something that we have to work on. I’m confident that we’ll be able to manage chemistry if we really play together for a long period of time,” the Archers’ mentor ended.

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