Thursday, July 7, 2011


History Lesson:
The Letran Knights dominated the Perpetual Help Atlas in both encounters last season, beating them by an average of 23.5 points, 87-69 and 90-61. The Knights were able to get their turnover game going, forcing more errors and turnover points. Also interesting is the fact that multiple Knights got involved in the scoring process, with at least five Letranites scoring in double digits in both games.

Perpetual Help Storyline: The Atlas lost players before they played, and then have lost a player in each actual game. Losing Marlon Gomez and Paul Nuilan hurt their ceiling and caused their then-head coach to resign. Their first game out, two players went down to injury, Jeorge Allen, who was supposed to be their second best player, and Anthony Paulino, who luckily enough, returned in their next outing. In the second game, they lost another "big" man with Mark Sumera, who endeavored to come back from his shoulder injury, but didn't last more than a minute. If another player goes down in this game, you can start freely throwing around the "curse" word then.
Stat to Watch: The Atlas have been handling the ball fine, it's really just their shooting that's been affecting them. That said, the Knights are a pressing team that relies on turnover points and so if the Atlas want to have a hope of winning, they'll have to keep taking care of the ball.
Player to Watch: Point guard Chris Elopre has had his moments in the game, and is averaging 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 turnovers, solid numbers on a poor team. He'll have the ball most of the time in his hands against Letran and as above, if he takes care of it, Perpetual might have an upset on its hands.

Letran Storyline: The Knights pulled off an opening day upset, defeating an upstart Mapua Cardinals team that had blown them out in the summer. Letran got solid defense, shutting down the Cards in the fourth quarter, and support for Kevin Alas to pull off the win. Due to the events at the end of that game though, Junjun Alas is suspended, and that might hurt their depth.
Stat to Watch: Turnover points; the Knights forced a whopping 25 turnovers and got 26 points out of it, versus a taller, slower team. The smaller, faster Atlas squad might make forcing turnovers a bit tougher, though that didn't stop them last season.
Player to Watch: Big men have had big games against the tiny Atlas, and as such, Jam Cortes could see huge numbers, after a solid first outing, 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Prediction: Letran Knights

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