History? Just your typical "reigning champion meets guest team" match-up. But there's a bit of bad blood here, after the Red Lions gave it to the Pirates in this summer's Fil-Oil Preseason tournament. Lyceum was blown out 99 to 57, with five technical fouls being doled out in the process, ejections to Allan Santos and Ola Adeogun, plus a near-forfeit by San Beda head coach Frankie Lim.
San Bed Storyline : Fresh off a nine-day break, the Lions get another small team to try out their Sudan Daniel-less style of play. An opening day blowout gave Lim a chance to insert nearly his entire roster, with the highlight being the outstanding play of stopper Michole Sorela, who got finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Stat to Watch : The Red Lions unleashed their running game versus the Atlas, but despite the results, it was still a sloppy affair, as the Lions gave up 22 turnovers without any real effort from Perpetual Help. San Beda's point guard corps are seen to be this squad's weak link, but there's still plenty of time for guys like Baser Amer, Paolo Pontejos and Ryusei Koga to fit in.
Player to Watch : Dave Marcelo played a foul-plagued 24 minutes in the opener, but he still managed to finish with 10 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. As probably the most polished center in the league right now, expect him to strut his stuff against Lyceum.
Lyceum Storyline : The Pirates surprised a lot of people by jumping out to a 2-0 start, but they had the benefit of playing a Benilde team lacking Carlo Lastimosa, and a weak Perpetual Help squad. The big test will be versus San Beda, and whether or not they have enough firepower or defense to stay close with the champs.
Stat to Watch : The Pirates are a slow-starting team, taking control of the Benilde and Perpetual games after halftime, but against a powerhouse like San Beda, it's doubtful that they'll be able to play catch-up. As such, first half points should be as close as possible, otherwise, the Pirates might start to sink by the time the third quarter rolls around.
Player to Watch : Allan Santos got into it with Nigerian giant Ola Adeogun in the summer. Dave Marcelo is of a more managable size, but Santos will still be conceding a good two, three inches. The former Falcon has also shown a knack for not fouling out in the fourth. Then again, those first two games were cakewalks compared to the fine-tuned machine that is the Red Lions.
Prediction: San Beda Red Lions