LA Salle coach Juno Sauler is trying to address quite a serious problem as the Green Archers wrap up preparations for the new UAAP season.
Failing to close out games is a concern for the team at this point of their UAAP preparations, although Sauler has yet to pinpoint what's wrong with the Archers at this point.
“Yes, we have to find a way to solve that one, why it is happening and what we need to do,” said Sauler.
On Wednesday, La Salle needed a late surge to pull off a 94-89 win over Far Eastern University in the quarterfinal round of the preseason tilt after losing a 12-point fourth quarter lead. Days before, the Green Archers lost a 20-point lead and fell to Perpetual Help, 95-98, in the final game of the preliminaries.
La Salle knows it can’t afford to suffer another meltdown against Southwestern University as they meet again, this time in the semifinals of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup game on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Green Archers have the edge coming into the semifinal series as they won over the Cobras, 64-59, during the league’s Cebu leg last month.
La Salle had also won over SWU in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League championship game last year, after the Green Archers lost to the Cobras in the eliminations of the same tournament.
Sauler, however, downplayed La Salle’s victory over the Cobras in the Filoil preliminaries as a few SWU players were then out injured.
“I think they had players who are injured, guys we expected to play but weren’t used,” said Sauler.
Focus of the Green Archers will be on SWU’s Landry Sanjo, who finished with 16 points and 19 rebounds. Ex-Archer Mark Tallo also had 11 points.
“They have a strong team in Sanjo and very good backcourt in (Mark) Tallo and (Jasper) Parker. It’s going to be a tough fight for us on Friday,” said Sauler.