2010 UAAP Ateneo-FEU basketball championship – competent coaching made the difference
like everyone else, we were shocked at the outcome of the first game of the 2010 UAAP basketball championship between Ateneo and FEU over the weekend. we were more shocked than the FEU players themselves. we thought it would be tough and close, it was easy and wide.
we have to agree with the FEU sports official who described their teams loss like an animal facing the headlights of a car on a highway at night. – the FEU players froze, with eyes wide and stood there and waited for the car to run them over.
we think it is the coaching that made the difference in that game and leading to the finals. norman black , the ateneo coach, is once again making the difference for ateneo. the ateneo squad in the past few years and most specially this year usually starts cold and gets hotter as the season nears the end.
the ateneo team specially this one kept on improving game after game. the ateneo team had the same players now as the start of the season, the difference lie in the adjustments coach norman black makes game to game. it is these adjustments in play and strategy that allowed the ateneo team to win over FEU which had previously beat ateneo twice during regular play.
listen to the ateneo players after their games – all of them talk about practicing hard before the game. that tells us they do change their plans when they go into a new game and they practice it well.
ateneo’s team this season do not have the stars it used to have in the last two years. they seem to be all even across the players. look at the games they have played and you will see that different players star in different games. that tells you this team operates on specific strategy of play rather than being central to one or two players. different players come out as the star of the game as the plays work and evolve during the game.
FEU on the other hand must have set their plays on their two stars – romeo and garcia as they have done in most previous games. unfortunately, their coach did not adjust their plays and strategies when it did not work. either the coach failed to adjust the play or if the coach did, the players did not respond to the instructi0ns.
what is going to happen on game 2? ateneo for sure will adapt most of the game plan they had in game 1 and probably come up with a few new plays to anticipate adjustments that FEU will make on thursday.
we think its important for ateneo to employ the same strategy of piling up the points on fastbreaks very early on. it is important not just on the point building standpoint but more importantly on the psychology side.
FEU players seem to be psychologically vulnerable. they fold when ravaged in the mind and that is what ateneo’s play will be on game 2.