Tuesday, July 26, 2011


History Lesson:
The Cardinals found the Generals easy prey last season, beating them handily in both rounds, 82-68 and 74-65. The two teams also met each other in the Fil-Oil Preseason Tournament, with the Cardinals also coming out on top, 88-74, behind a double-double performance by Yousef Taha, 16 points and 13 rebounds.

EAC Storyline : In a battle between two upstart guest teams, the Generals were able to pull off the late win against the Pirates, 73-67, behind big performances by veterans Claude Cubo and Jan Jamon. Unfortunately, the loss came at a price, a one-game suspension for striking Onofore Napize at the start of the fourth quarter. Cubo is EAC's best post player and a powerful rebounder down low, so his loss against a team with quite a ceiling, will definitely be felt.
Stat to Watch : The Generals were able to contain Lyceum from beyond the arc, holding them to just 1 of 22 from beyond the arc. That perimeter defense ought to come in handy against Mapua, who are second in the league in three-pointers made per game with 5.8 triples.
Player to Watch : EAC will turn to rookie Jolas Paguia to fill in Cubo's minutes, though aside from their height, the two play different games, with Cubo more of an inside presence compared to the former Baby Tam's perimeter game. But while he had an impressive 22 point, 9 rebound debut versus Arellano, his output has dropped sharply in succeeding games, as have his minutes. He will get the opportunity again to contribute, but what he does with that opportunity is not so certain.

MIT Storyline : Who would have thought before the season that the Mapua Cardinals would be the last team without a win in the NCAA? Nobody, least of all the Cardinals themselves. The team was visibly fired up last Friday versus JRU, but as the fourth quarter played out, panic began settling in and before you knew it, the team had choked away another win-able game. They catch a big break against EAC with Claude Cubo out, but the fact is, they've had winnable games before and didn't cash in. Because of that fact, can we assume that this one is in the books for MIT because they look better on paper? That hasn't worked out for them in their past four games!
Stat to Watch : The Cards find themselves outscored in the final period by a total of 83-48. No other stat means anything, aside from that one. When the fourth quarter rolls around, the Cardinals need to just take the ball strong to the rim and draw fouls. No more tentative ball movement that leads to 24 second shot clock violations, no more launching triples 4 feet away from three-point arc, just put your head down and drive.
Player to Watch : Josan Nimes started out the first half strong versus JRU, dropping 19 points on them in a variety of ways, but it turned out that all his shooting had left him nothing in the tank for the second half, as the rookie from the USA finished with 0 points from halftime onward. Nimes is a notorious streak shooter, that's why it's important that he's hot going into the fourth, so that at least one guy isn't afraid to try to put the team on his back if needed.

Prediction: MIT Cardinals

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