Tuesday, July 19, 2011


History Lesson: 
Lyceum and Arellano faced off once in the Fil-Oil Pre-season Tournament, with the Chiefs edging the Pirates to earn their first win of the tournament, 71-70. Chris Cayabyab missed a triple that could have won the game, but the Pirates also made just half of their free throws, allowing Arellano to take control. This game also marked the first time the Chiefs were without big man Charles Mammie, who ultimately left the team.

Lyceum Storyline : The Pirates pulled off a massive upset, dispatching the Mapua Cardinals late, 76-73. Once just a Chris Cayabyab-Allan Santos production, the Pirates are getting more production as each game goes by from other sources, with Floricel Guevarra and Onofre Napiza making an impact lately. If the Pirates can hold down the fort while Shane Ko is out, this team might actually have an outside chance of making the Final Four (apparently, the NCAA has come down to this).
Stat to Watch : Guevarra led the Pirates by making half of their total three-pointers, finishing 3/4 from beyond the arc, against a defensively listless Mapua team. The Pirates will need Guevarra or Cayabyab, or anyone really, to catch fire, in order to take advantage of the Arellano zone.
Player to Watch : The Pirates finally got another big man besides Allan Santos going in Onofre Napiza, who started at power forward. Napiza finished with 14 points on 50 percent shooting, plus 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Santos can't be expected to man the paint all the time (though he does an excellent job playing entire fourth quarters with four fouls), and so anything from Napiza will be a huge lift and will prevent teams from simply locking down the guards of Lyceum.

Arellano Storyline : The Chiefs couldn't buck history as they were blown out of the water by the San Beda Red Lions, 92-67, in another chippy affair that could see Ronnel Del Rosario suspended for this game due to his flagrant foul. The zone defense coach Leo Isaac employs has begun becoming too predictable, as past games have shown shooters find the opponent shots. It doesn't help that Isaac is reluctant to go into his bench, relying solely it seems, on the trio of Andrian Celada, Vergel Zulueta and Rocky Acidre for scoring, thus fatiguing them down the stretch.
Stat to Watch : The Chiefs average a paltry 4 second chance points each game off 10.3 offensive rebounds a game, second to worst in the league. Now Lyceum isn't a tall team, but they are a very hard-working one, especially with Allan Santos looking to continue his streak of double-doubles. If the Pirates get to the rebounds first, they're apt to run a few outlet plays here and there, especially when if Arellano doesn't get back on D quickly.
Player to Watch : Rocky Acidre hates pressure, as in ball pressure, especially when he's handling the rock. Acidre got 9 turnovers against JRU, and then again versus SBC, compared to none against EAC (outlier: he had just 3 miscues versus Letran, which might press the most in the league). Having Shane Ko back would be a big help for the Pirates, but even if he isn't, Dexter Zamora or tiny Tirso Lesmoras could give Acidre some trouble if they put their minds to it.

Prediction: Lyceum Pirates

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