The PAFL 2017 season bridesmaids Cavemen launch their campaign tomorrow, September 7, 4:00PM at the Circuit Makati Blue Pitch against a Juggernauts squad that is raring to go with a new look lineup.
After a successful maiden season that fell short of a touchdown for the championship, the Cavemen regroup this season with additional pieces to its core of the old Rough Riders team that won the very first PAFL championship two years ago.
Dual player Mike Asuncion believes that their team chemistry is a key advantage, given that the offense is the same from last year, with added help, but main takeaway is knowing when to make adjustments in the game.
“The best approach against them is to [know when] adjust during the game. [It’s going to help] make real-time adjustments, as our training and team chemistry come into play. We acquired a bigger offensive line and we expect the same results, but with better output,” said Asuncion, who plays both as Running Back and Outside Linebacker.
He added that costly errors can add to chances of defeat so they should not let up. “Our main focus is good execution on both ends. The team that can have less errors or mistakes will win,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Juggernauts aim to be this year’s team to watch out for, having composed of five football teams to field one seemingly strong squad, with the collective goal of having a championship appearance that last happened in 2013.
One vital cog in this year’s Juggs version is the offensive line, the unsung heroes, and the training they received from conditioning and strengthening coach Oliver “Obey” Montano. He said that the first game will be a test on how the offseason trainings ay off.
“The line of scrimmage is where most games are won or lost. It doesn’t matter if you have the best quarterback or receivers, your team will likely lose [without a formidable offensive line]. Aside from having the biggest and strongest men we tried to assemble, we also need them to be resourceful and wide in their game,” Coach Montano said.
Also, he looks to evaluate the system he has created for the offensive line in the coming game. “I taught some of those MMA moves, legal moves, of course, to my linemen. I will be on the lookout for those moves and if they work, I know I’ve done my job,” Coach Montano said.
The second game features last season’s defending champions, and PAFL single-game record-holder of 84 points, Wolves tangle with the Datu for an unblemished mark at the 7:00PM showdown.
The highly favored Wolves look confident heading to tomorrow as long as they play with the same intensity and fire they had against the Rebels. This, according team captain Martin Antonio, is something they need to maintain.
“We just need to be the best version of ourselves. The game will take care of itself when we do that,” said Antonio, who had his fair share of two receiving touchdowns from QB Luke Zetazate’s precision passing.
He added that the key to winning against Datu is simply being ahead at every step on both ends of the field.
“We just fine tune the things we do [with the little things],” Antonio said. “[This means] better blocking, better route-running, better secondary coverage, better pass rushing. Definitely, we need to be more aggressive on both sides.”
On the other hand, the Datu will have their hands full against the defending champions. Other than a collective effort, the rookies will play an integral part for The Tribe.
“A lot of our players are new. Assessing and correcting our rookies’ skills and decision-making would be highly beneficial in our upcoming game,” said Jay Laborte, linebacker.
He also gives high regard to the Wolves but at the same time, they are not going to back down from a daunting challenge as they aim to play smarter-than-usual when it comes to the defending champions.
“They (Wolves) have always been competitive in playing the sport. Improving the team’s overall educated-on-game-guessing using previous statistics is what we are planning on capitalizing,” Laborte said.
Gates open at 3:00PM. Official Media Partner ESPN 5 will show some highlight plays during their NFL broadcasts on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays in the morning. Also, season games will be uploaded to their Sports5 YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe to their channel on YouTube and stay tuned to ESPN 5.
With reports from Kris Llorin