Tuesday, July 12, 2011


History Lesson:
The Generals made a contest out of it in the first encounter of these two teams last season, falling in overtime to the Heavy Bombers 74-70. The second match was hardly as close though, as JRU got out to a 19-4 start that led to a 76-50 finish.

Jose Rizal Storyline : The Heavy Bombers find themselves at an early 0-2 hole, after close losses to San Sebastian (73-67) and Arellano University (79-75 in overtime). Their undersized big men like John Lopez and Ronnel Carampil have been carrying this squad, as guards like Raycon Kabigting and Alex Almario have been disappointing. They're getting turnover points, but not stops down the stretch.
Stat to Watch : The Heavy Bombers have been dismal from the line, shooting 48.57 percent (or 17 out of 35) over their two games. Given the closeness of the losses, a few more charities might spell the difference between a win and a loss.
Player to Watch : Raycon Kabigting has been the starting shooting guard for two games now, averaging 4.5 points on 24 percent shooting (4 of 17 attempts). He'll be matched up most likely against Milan Vargas, Jan Jamon or rookie Igee King during the game, and I feel like he can score against them. Should Nate Matute still be out because of his groin injury, points from him becoming so much more important.

Emilio Aguinaldo Storyline : The Generals were the other early surprise of the league, beating the Arellano Chiefs convincingly behind the fab player of rookie Jolas Paguia. After handling a zone-heavy team, they'll need to make the shift to a press-happy JRU squad, though they had a nice long break (their last game was July 4) to prepare for them.
Stat to Watch : The sweet-shooting Generals made 51 percent of their shots (34 of 67), including a 9 of 22 performance (41 percent) from outside the arc.  In their two games, the Bombers held opponents to 44 percent shooting, still a high number, but anything close to 50 will likely mean an EAC victory.
Player to Watch : Milan Vargas didn't look bothered by his summer-long injury, coming off the bench to score 18 points and dish out 5 assists in just 20 minutes. If he can sustain that high level of play, together with guys like Claude Cubo and Jamon, then the Generals could be a darkhorse candidate for a Final Four spot.

Prediction: EAC Generals

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