The Patriot cagers’ quest to step it up on both sides of the court progressed in an exhibition match versus Philippine Basketball Association – Developmental league (PBA D-league) competitor Wangs Basketball Couriers at the Ugnayang La Salle, yesterday.
Despite the team losing by a big margin, Oliveros shared, “Actually, advantage sa akin ‘yong [laban]. Gusto ko ‘yong nangyari kasi naka-encounter kami ng magagaling na klase ng players.”
Once again, Patriot two-guard Pacholo Loor took the alpha spot and registered 22 points composed of 6 three-pointers for DLSU-D while veteran captain ball John Cantimbuhan contributed 15 markers.
Former National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities mythical five Mark Montuano stormed the inside with 17 points together with Courier teammate Marlon Gomez’s 10 points. Meanwhile, ex-NCAA and UAAP stalwarts Macky Acosta of Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals and Rey Publico of Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights tallied 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
Rattling the Patriots with the PBA D-league contender’s defense, the Couriers forced DLSU-D to commit 20 turnovers in the whole first half and limited the green-and-white squad’s field goal (4 of 15) in the first quarter with their veteran defense, 11-27.
Trying a turnaround at 7:09 in the second canto, Patriot Loor’s three back-to-back trifectas gathered clamor from the crowd and capped a 15-8 surge, 28-45. Hyping up the momentum, six-foot-three forward Egie Boy Mojica skyrocketed to the air and denied the ball on an attempted fast break by Wangs Adam Lasco. However, the Wangs’ holdover mentality prevailed and stopped the fiery momentum, 29-51.
The Patriots raided with maturity in the second half, having only seven turnovers—four in the third quadrant and three in the fourth. The home team also outscored the PBA D-League contender 21-16 in the third, reducing the lead to 17, 50-67.
Making adjustments after the halftime break, DLSU-D head coach Arnold Oliveros explained that the mass turnovers were because of overlooking passing lanes. The former Philippine Basketball League player said they halted the run-down through controlling where the ball was placed.
Terminating a comeback, the Wangs basketball team swept the young hoopsters anew with a full-court press and a much-improved offensive wave in the final quarter, 68-95.
Patriot head coach Oliveros shared his sentiments on the most important thing the green-and-white cagers learned in the defeat. “Ang lalaki ng kalaban, maganda ‘yon para matuto ‘yong mga big men natin. Naging pisikal sila. dapat matuto sila [kung] paano dumepensa doon sa mga malalaking kalaban.” Oliveros stated.
On another note, DLSU-D players’ defensive strategies⎯which is the main focus of Oliveros⎯worked against the powerhouse team. “Ako talaga kasi gusto ko ‘yong aggressiveness nandoon sa loob. Ayoko ‘yong ja-jogging–jogging lang diyan. Gusto ko hundred percent sila pagdating sa defense.”
Ending his comments, Oliveros furthered, “Happy ako pero gusto ko pa. Gusto ko pa, more [improvements]. Hindi pa ako kuntento doon … gusto ko ipukpok pa sila [lalo na] sa defense.”