What ails the UP Fighting Maroons?

By Rick Olivares

Posted at May 20 2014 10:23 AM | Updated as of May 20 2014 06:27 PM

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons looked good in their first three matches before looking like they were going to be blown off the court by their last two opponents.

Ultimately, in those last two fixtures, the sizable lead was difficult to overcome and the opponent had a better finishing kick. Actually, the same could be said in their losses to San Sebastian and CEU that took the game in the final play of the game.

A quick look at head coach Rey Madrid’s squad and most likely you’ll come away with the thought that they have no inside presence. And because of that, UP is forced to shoot not only from the outside but way out. Now if you’re off target then it’s going to be a long day.

Here are the basic stat comparisons between UP and their opponents.

TEAM
POINTS
REBOUNDS
ASSISTS
STEALS
BLOCKS
TRN
UP
76.4
40.8 (11.2)
14.8
6.4
3.4
15.4
OPP
81.0
56.4 (21.4)
17.0
5.4
5.2
18.8

TEAM
THREE-POINT FGs
THREE-POINT %
UP
28-104
26%
OPP
23-113
20%

UP relies a lot on their outside shooting – three-point shooting in particular. JR Gallarza leads the team in attempts. I compared the attempts per team and seven of the 10-man rotation pops at least one trey per game. For their opponents, seven of the 13-man rotation used attempts from the three-point line.

The reason why the opponents seem to shoot more is because of CSB. That is one team that jacks up more threes than UP.  

TEAM
FREE THROWS
FREE THROW %
UP
66-109
60%
OPP
67-105
63%

For a team that lacks post players, they sure go to the line a little more often. You can chalk that up to JR Gallarza and Dave Moralde who handle the ball a lot.


TEAM
FASTBREAK POINTS
2nd CHANCE POINTS
TURNOVER POINTS
UP
24.6
5.0
13.8
OPP
18.8
12.2
12.4

Why does UP score more points on the break than their opponents if they don’t rebound well? That’s because their guards force a lot of turnovers. Furthermore, they’re kind of speedy. There’s Mikee Reyes, Henry Asilum, Kyles Lao, and Diego Dario. 

TEAM
FIRST HALF POINTS
SECOND HALF POINTS
UP
36.8
39.6
OPP
38.4
42.6

UP is able to keep the game close in the first half then runs of steam… in the third period.

Check out the next table. 

TEAM
1st  QTR POINTS
2nd QTR POINTS
3rd QTR POINTS
4th QTR POINTS
UP
18.6
18.2
15.4
24.2
OPP
20.6
18.4
19.4
23.6

After last Monday’s victory by NU over UP, Bulldogs head coach Eric Altamirano lamented his team’s relaxing in the fourth period (and getting into penalty early) that allowed UP to come back.

The Fighting Maroons showed that they have one last run in them. It’s finishing strong that is the problem.

TEAM
LEAD TOTAL QTRS
LEAD HALF
LEAD AFTER 3
UP
6
2
1
OPP
14
3
4

Let’s break down the Maroons’ scoring.

TEAM
STARTERS SCORING
BENCH SCORING
UP
37.6
38.8
OPP
44.4
36.6

And here’s some trivia:

UP with Mikee Reyes in the lineup: 1-1
UP without Mikee Reyes in the lineup: 0-3

UP against teams with a winning record: 2-0
UP against teams with a losing record: 1-1

UP against all-Filipino teams: 1-2
UP against teams with foreign players: 0-2

UP frontline scoring: 10.4 points per game

My conclusion is they already have a fighting chance. The point differential isn’t much. In my opinion, UP has to go a little more to their frontline players a little more. They tend to take too many outside shots. If you think of UST, even last year with their predilection for the outside shot with gunners like Jeric Teng, Clark Bautista, and Kevin Ferrer, they got to the finals also because of the rebounding and inside presence of Karim Abdul.

That is one reason why La Salle got over the hump because Arnold Van Opstal and Jason Perkins ruled the lane.

For UP, Paolo Romero who really looks lost in the shuffle. I know he just got back from injury but they should really make a conscious effort to get him in the game. He has a medium range jumper and can hold his own in the post. He has not played well since his rookie year in UP. And the dwindling minutes has taken a toll on his confidence. Andrew Harris has to hold his own and not get into foul trouble. I like Cris Vito’s heart but he’s just overmatched. But I figure he needs a little more confidence. If he can put some points on the board a little more consistently, he will be of great help.

Well, this is why you play in the summer. Let’s see how they adjust come the UAAP season.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.