UAAP: La Salle had to veer away from team-first mentality vs Ateneo
Philip Matel on Oct 06, 2018 08:29 PM
De La Salle had to yield from their passing display in order for Aljun Melecio to take over.
In order for the De La Salle Green Archers to counter the swarming defense of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, head coach Louie Gonzalez said that he ordered his team to become unorthodox in their approach on offense.
What he preached all season, a team-first mentality, was shelved for a while when he ordered Aljun Melecio to take over the scoring cudgels for La Salle.
However, the pint-sized point guard's effort went in vain, as his 20-point effort was no match against the defending champions' defense.
"Kanina someone had to take over. Everything was being covered eh. Matigas talaga silang lahat eh. Yung takbo ng laro kanina, yun yung bagay na kailangang-kailangan naming matutunan," the new Green Archer coach said after the game.
The La Sallian mentor ultimately praised his counterpart Tab Baldwin and the entire Ateneo squad, who was able to shut them down after DLSU led at the conclusion of the first quarter, 13-12.
Gonzalez made the order since their passing was already hurting them. They only made three assists in the entire 40-minute affair, and gave away the ball 28 times.
"[Yung overpassing] yung reason kung bakit 3 assists then we had 28 turnovers. Ayun yung pini-preach ko eh. Maging yung mga players ko, they’re trying to keep everybody involved. Sometimes, tira na nila ipapasa pa nila. Ayun yung nag-cause nang malaking turnovers."
Regarding the return of skipper Kib Montalbo, who was supposed to be out 4-6 weeks due his fractured hand, the tactician bared that his captain was ready even in the previous game Wednesday against UST, and said a pronouncement regarding the fifth-year guard's status.
"We’re just waiting na ma-cover ko talaga nang husto yung thumb nya. Pero he’s ready to play. Next game, he’ll play. Starting now, he’s gonna play."
Enjoying a seven-day stretch before concluding the first round against top-seeded Adamson at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, La Salle hopes to give its players its much-needed rest, as they grinded out in playing the past three play dates.
"Sa ngayon, bigay ko muna sa kanila yung break nila para maka-recover physical and mentally. Come Saturday, it’s a must-win game for us. We have to finish the first round at least andun sa upper half ng standings."
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