With all the ups and downs that the DLSU Green Archers have been going through over the past few months, seven games isn’t enough to determine what the true identity of this team is. In one game, the Green Archers might be shooting the lights out from the free throw line then in another, Arnold van Opstal and Jason Perkins plow through the lane like bulls in a china shop.
Then again, there are days wherein the Green Archers shoot free throws as if the line was extended to the three point area. Jeron Teng currently has averages of 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists, but the random walk known as his free throw shooting still leaves the Green Archers in shambles during close games. There are days when Teng makes just 27.3 percent of his free throws, like his three of 11 performance against the FEU Tamaraws, but there are also times when he surprisingly saves the team, like when he made two free throws to break a 65-all deadlock with less than a minute to play against the AdU Soaring Falcons.
As UAAP Season 76 reaches its halfway point, an analysis of the statistics may give us a clearer picture of what the Green Archers have done over the past seven games and what the next seven may look like.
Our fantastic four
Teng’s aggressiveness on the offensive end has often overshadowed his rebounding prowess, one that supplements the rebounding production of the DLSU big men well. In wins, Teng averages a stellar all-around line of 16 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists, but his free throw shooting is suspect at 53.9 percent. Losses have been telling as his assists drop from 4.7 in wins to 2.8 in defeats, with his personal free throw shooting pegged at a dismal 27.8 percent when the team loses compared to 53.9 percent in victories. To keep on winning, it seems like Teng needs to add the rank of “ facilitator” to his roles and he must continue to work on his free throw shooting, one room for improvement that perhaps the entire team should work on as well.
After seven games in UAAP 76, you can now add “good footwork, great free throw shooter, and mobile” to Arnold van Opstal’s report. In wins, he is seen as both a potent weapon that makes match-up nightmares on every offensive possession. He has averaged 11.3 points and six rebounds in their three wins so far, highlighted by his 18 point and eight rebound performance against their archrivals, the ADMU Blue Eagles. In losses though, he posts similar statistics, with a slight drop in his scoring, but an uptick in his rebounding at 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds respectively per game. As evidenced by the numbers, van Opstal has always been a consistent contributor to the Green Archer cause during his third season with the team, whether win or lose.
As the most headlined player from a fresh and promising crop of rookies, Jason Perkins has emerged as the starting power forward for coach Juno Sauler. The rookie from Minnesota has averaged a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in wins, highlighted by his 20-point and 13-board performance against the UP Fighting Maroons. In losses though, Perkins sees a big drop in his performance. If in wins, Perkins is a double double machine, he becomes a completely different player in losses and he only averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 rebounds, numbers that seem pedestrian compared to his performance in wins.
As one of the team’s veterans, Almond Vosotros has always made his presence felt in the first round this season. One of the lead guards of the team, Vosotros averages 15 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in his fourth season. Consistent production in terms of scoring is not a problem when it comes to Vosotros and with the second round two weeks away, the Green Archers need to find ways to complement Vosotros on offense in order to limit the number of contested shots that he takes.
With the seven games of the first round down, the UAAP Men’s Basketball tournament has entered the stretch run. The final seven games of the eliminations for each team will determine whether the months of blood, sweat and tears during the offseason were all worth it. For some, it has become a game of survival while some are just trying to avoid humiliation. A Final Four berth will mean a job well done for some teams while there are a handful that will go home in sorrow without winning a championship this season.
Statistically speaking, the Green Archers form one of the most powerful teams in the league, but their lack of mental toughness and composure at the end of games has been their most glaring weakness. All the talent in the world cannot win without teamwork and once brilliant head coach Juno Sauler gets the team up to speed and manages to get La Salle in tip-top shape, the sky will be the limit for the arrows of the Green Archers.