SUPER SHOWDOWN: FEU's L-Jay Gonzales vs San Beda's Evan Nelle

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 17, 2019 07:07 PM
SUPER SHOWDOWN: FEU's Gonzales vs San Beda's Nelle
(Photo by Arvin Lim, Josh Albelda)

Razzle. Dazzle.

Those are the two words the could best describe what Far Eastern University and San Beda University have in their backcourt.

In L-Jay Gonzales, the Tamaraws have a speedy playmaker while in Evan Nelle, the Red Lions have a stylish playmaker.

While they go about their games in their own different ways, though, what's certain is Gonzales and Nelle make all the plays - and make all the right plays at that - for their teams.

Who does the better razzling and dazzling between them, though?

We set out to find out just who in this week's Super Showdown where we match up the best young playmakers in Philippine collegiate basketball.

To determine the result, we will judge them in five categories (making plays for teammates, making plays for himself, making plays on defense, threat in transition, leadership) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision.

MAKING PLAYS FOR TEAMMATES

Nelle is tops in assists in the NCAA in just his first full season at the controls of San Beda's offensive with 6.7 per game.

Gonzales isn't doing too bad either, with 3.8 dimes per game in his first full season in charge of FEU's attack - good for fourth in the UAAP.

Both players masterfully orchestrate their teams' game plan while at the same time, also making ways for some highlight plays.

In terms of those highlight plays, though, Nelle's stylish setups are more of a treat to watch than Gonzales' deliberate dishes.

Just run down the Red Lion point guard's best plays and you will have to ask yourself, just how many no-look passes can anybody make?

Advantage, Nelle, 10-9

MAKING PLAYS FOR HIMSELF

While both are pass-first point guards, they are also no slouches in terms of scoring.

In fact, Gonzales is top scorer for FEU with 10.4 points per game while Nelle is fourth in San Beda in terms of points per game with 10.2 markers.

When it comes down to it, though, the Red Lions' playmaker is a threat from all over the floor, with the shooting touch from long-range as well as the finishing capability from up close.

The Tamaraws' court general is actually a much better finisher, what with his nifty bag of reverses and hand-switching layups, but his outside shot has a long ways to go.

Advantage, Nelle, 10-9

MAKING PLAYS ON DEFENSE

Nelle's first and foremost point for improvement has always been his reed-thin frame.

He has gotten bigger since his days as a Red Cub, but he also still doesn't present much of a problem for big-bodied guards who can bully him.

The opposite is true for Gonzales who not only has the body strength, but also couples it with elite speed and agility to be a frustrating faceoff.

Not only that, FEU actually has its point guard at the head of the defensive attack and still, he doesn't seem to run out of energy.

Safe to say, nobody would ever say that having Gonzales in front of you will ever be a walk in the park.

Advantage, Gonzales, 10-9

THREAT IN TRANSITION

Gonzales has all the speed in the world to leave opponents, and even his teammates, in the dust.

The transition game is the most dangerous game to play with FEU because it has just the point guard to take advantage of it.

When it comes to taking advantage of the whole court, however, Nelle has got it on lock as not only can he set up his teammates for easy transition baskets, he can also pull up for open jumpers or take it straight to the rim.

And so, just like he has the advantage in the halfcourt, San Beda's floor leader also has the advantage on his Tamaraw counterpart on the open court.

Either of the two is a scary sight charging straight at you, but it's actually easier to defend Gonzales' drive than the threat of Nelle from all over the floor.

Advantage, Nelle, 10-9

LEADERSHIP

Both of them are at the head of the attack for their contending teams.

Neither of them, however, are necessarily the vocal leaders of their contending teams.

It must be the youth and it must be the inexperience, but Gonzales and Nelle still defer to other teammates when it comes to leadership.

Perhaps, that will come in time, but as of right now, their sophomore seasons, this is the one department they have much room to improve on.

Push, 10-10

FINAL SCORE, 49-47 for San Beda's Evan Nelle

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