Sunday, July 24, 2011


 History Lesson:
The hard-luck Perpetual Help Altas lost both their encounters to the JRU Heavy Bombers last season. Firepower was often the difference maker, as in their first encounter last July 16, 2010, when JRU's five double-digit scorers (Alex Almario, JR Bulangis, Marvin Hayes, John Lopez, and Nchotu Njei) overwhelmed the three double-digit scorers that UPHSD threw out (Jeorge Allen, Justine Alano and Arnold Danganan), 78-62. That same math applied as well in their round two meet on the 25th of August, 2010, a 66-55 win for JRU. Once again, the Heavy Bombers had more scorers in double-digits, this time four, Nate Matute, Raycon Kabigting, John Montemayor, Almario again, compared to just two by the Altas, Jeorge Allen and Jett Vidal. 

JRU Storyline : The Heavy Bombers find themselves at.500 after a 0-2 start, thanks to the latest epic collapse by the Mapua Cardinals. Part of the reason for the early struggles has been an adjustment to their style. Originally projected as a team that would force a lot of turnovers and hit triples, the latter part has instead been changed to "and score via our athletic forwards." That might change by the time Nate Matute returns from his groin injury, and if Raycon Kabigting and John Villarias continue to stroke it from downtown, but until those two things happen, this will continue to be a team powered by John Lopez, Ronnel Carampil and Jeckster Apinan.
Stat to Watch : The free throw line has been JRU's Achilles heel. They've had less attempts than their opponents in three out of their four games, and they've never broken the 60% mark for free throw shooting yet this season.
Player to Watch : Team captain Raycon Kabigting finally broke into double digits, scoring 14 on 50% shooting while adding 3 assists, and then taking them away with 3 turnovers. 6 of those points came on two triples, which is a big deal for a team that sorely lacks outside shooting. Can Kabigting keep it up? He has a prime opportunity against the hapless Altas, so it's likely he least for this game.

UPHSD Storyline : After a punishing early schedule that saw the play four games from July 2 to July 11, Perpetual Help took a nice, long, two week break before returning to play. While it's unlikely for them come out of the "vacation" looking like a completely different team, it at least gives more time for Jeorge Allen to recover from his opening day injury, and for Jimwell Gican to adjust to being a head coach.
Stat to Watch : The Altas are dead last in points scored per game, and by a huge margin to boot, as they average 59.8 points, while the next closest squad, Mapua, norms 68.5 points. Part of the problem is that Perpetual can't seem to hit the broadside of a barn, with the worst percentage in the league, 31% field goal shooting, and the least amount of field goals made per game, 22.3. Will the up and down pace the Heavy Bombers play help? Or will it just increase the amount of the blowout? Unfortunately for the Altas, more like the latter.
Player to Watch : Here's hoping Chris Elopre will be ready for the press of JRU. Averaging 7.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists to 2.5 turnovers, he's been the closest thing to an actual co-contributor to this team alongside Jett Vidal. He managed just three turnovers against Letran, which is an encouraging sign, but with JRU on a high because of back to back wins, a desire to make it three in a row might equal some very aggressive defense.

Prediction: JRU Heavy Bombers

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