The Knights and the Stags played tight, grind-it-out basketball last season, with neither team breaking hitting 60 points in two encounters, though San Sebastian wound up winning both. In the season-opener game, Ronald Pascual and Calvin Abueva managed to keep the Knights away after Letran had closed to within a point, escaping with the 59-53 win. The opposite happened in the second round, as it was the Stags who were playing catch-up, only they managed to overturn a 15-point deficit, to triumph 59-58.
Stat to Watch : The Knights force an average of 24.3 turnovers a game, but it'll likely be more during the game, seeing as how the Stags average 21.3 errors a game. Part of that is because the Stags are prone to losing the ball when their offense goes from "run and gun" to "helter skelter." Against other squads, it rarely comes back to bite them, but against Letran, those guys are just as likely to run the ball back the other way and score.
Player to Watch : Captain Anthony Del Rio is relatively low-key compared to the Pampanga Trio, and truth be told, his line of 3.33 points on 14% FG, 3 rebounds, 3.33 assists and 2 turnovers in 24 minutes isn't really spectacular, but San Sebastian will need his leadership on the court, especially if Letran jumps out to a huge lead. If someone on the team is going to get them to chill out and not panic in such a situation, it'll be Del Rio.
Stat to Watch : It'll be a contrast in styles tomorrow, as the second best offensive team (80 points a game) goes up against the best defensive team (57.7 points a game). It's safe to say, the lower the score, the better Letran's chances of winning this game, simple as that.
Player to Watch : Raymond Almazan has slowly been improving game after game, finding his bearings as a defensive player. His 7.67 rebounds, 1.67 assists, and 2 blocks average will be put to the test though against Ian Sangalang, who's possibly the most polished big man in the league right now. Almazan must avoid foul trouble, as that would mean the Knights would go small with Jam Cortes at the 5 and Jonathan Belorio at the 4, and the last thing they would probably want is for Sangalang to post up Cortes. Is Almazan can use his length to even keep the ball away from Sangalang, that might be much, much better for Letran's future.
Prediction: San Sebastian Stags