The San Beda Red Lions have had an easy time dealing with the Arellano Chiefs this past season, winning both Season 86 encounters in spectacular blowout fashion. In round one, San Beda found itself down 39-27 at the halftime, but rallied after the break with a 65-18 second half, finishing 92-57. They then made sure to lead from start to finish in round two, getting out to a 20-9 start and never relenting until the buzzer sounded, and their 70-54 win was official. The two teams also clashed in the summer's Fil-Oil tournament, a game which saw three Chiefs foul out, and Gerald Lapuz and Dave Semerad ejected for fighting. San Beda's superior bench proved to be the difference though, as they won handily, 88-74.
Stat to Watch : The Chiefs have found themselves outrebounded in two of their three games, and in the one game where they got the edge on the glass, they allowed their opponent, the EAC Generals, to shoot 51%. Against a team with multiple good rebounders such as San Beda, it's likely that the Chiefs will struggle to get to the loose ball, especially if they don't box out properly while in their zone.
Player to Watch : Gerald Lapuz is one of those glue guys that does a little bit of everything, in this case, 8.67 points, 8 rebounds, and 3.67 assists. But his heft should allow him to fight for rebounds or at least box out the bigger Red Lions, giving his frontcourt mate Prince Caperal a better chance of securing the carom. Lapuz is also the closest thing the Chiefs have to an enforcer, so if things get physical, they might turn to him to start barreling down the lane and fish for fouls.
Stat to Watch : The large number of options Coach Lim has at his disposal means that he can count on his squad's depth to overwhelm an Arellano squad that prefers a small rotation. As such, repeated fastbreak attemtps might wear the Chiefs down, and if not, multiple 8+ point scorers just might.
Player to Watch : Against the Lyceum Pirates, the guest team went nearly the entire game in a zone to negate the bigs of San Beda. That didn't exactly work, as San Beda still scored 89 points. One man in particular, Garvo Lanete, laid waste to that zone, scoring 19 points in 24 minutes, on a 7/13 performance, 4/8 from outside the arc. If he can find the gaps in the defense, and have his guys get him the ball, he can probably light it up in this match as well.
Prediction: San Beda Red Lions