MPBL: Ball movement, late-game execution keys to Iloilo

ILOILO United-Royals should prepare big time if they want to make a run for the playoffs. (Photo courtesy of MPBL FB page)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

THE Iloilo United Royals has developed the bad habit of establishing leads only to give it away in the final moments of the game.

Being rookies in the conference is not an excuse, with the United Royals line-up stacked with UAAP veterans and experienced cagers.

The Erick Gonzales-run squad need only turn to the assist department to figure out this puzzle.

Their losses are mirrored with low assist games, while their dime tally averages 17 in their wins.

Iloilo should put an emphasis towards efficient ball movement if they want to have the best chance at winning. Isolation plays by Samboy De Leon and Richard Escoto, though entertaining, are not the way to go if this team wants to succeed.

On a positive note, Iloilo’s attention to detail when it comes to hand-offs and backdoor cutting has allowed them to remain in striking distance of their competition.

That execution however goes out the window in the fourth quarter. Oftentimes ballhandlers are stuck on the perimeter while their teammates remain stationary. All this while the shot clock runs down, more often than not resulting in an empty possession.

As the Lakan Cup playoffs draw closer, Iloilo needs to tighten up their execution and ball distribution in order to advance.