The Stags seem to have a habit of putting the Atlas away late, requiring fourth quarter bombs to pull away. In the first round, San Sebastian needed to double Perpetual Help's output, 22-11, in the fourth quarter, to escape with the 73-69 win. In the second round, it was a 26-16 run, also in the fourth quarter, that keyed the Stags' 72-63 triumph.
San Sebastian Storyline : The Stags shoot for their third win, after dispatching the JRU late, and shrugging off an upset-minded CSB squad. Head coach Topex Robinson has been going to his bench a lot in order to develop more options on this squad and against a sub-par squad like the Atlas, he may have a lot of opportunities to do so in this game.
Stat to Watch : Giving more minutes to guys like Bobby Balucanag and Dexter Maiquez comes at a price, an increased number of fouls and turnovers. Currently, the team averages 24 and 22 respectively in those two categories. It hasn't come back to haunt the Stags yet, but you wouldn't want it to happen against a lower-tier squad.
Player to Watch : Ian Sangalang has been getting big numbers because of a lack of height in his opposing counterparts, and the 6'6" center is likely to post great stats again in this game, what with a host of 6'3" and 6'2" guys defending him.
Perpetual Help Storyline : By the time this game is over, the Atlas would have played their fourth game in 10 days, while teams like the Red Lions and the Cardinals are only preparing for their second. The fatigue clearly showed when they played the Letran Knights who ran them to the ground, but hopefully the weekend break will restore some bounce to their step as they face an athletic Stags squad as the host team searches for its first win.
Stat to Watch : The Atlas manage to get an average of 28 attempts at the free throw line, which is a decent number. The problem is that they hit only 54% of their charities, leaving a ton of points on the table. Against a Stags team that likes to give up fouls, they'll get their fair share amount of opportunities, now they just have to make em.
Player to Watch : Justine Alano draws the uneviable task of guarding Ian Sangalang. Alano's got averages of 6 points and 6 rebounds, which is amazing considering he's a 6'2" center on a bad team. The big problem is his shooting, which is 32%, and his fouls (3.7 a game). If he can stay in the game and bother Sangalang, who knows?
Prediction: San Sebastian Stags