|A tragedy in the making, the Cardinals had no idea of the heartbreak that awaited them (pic source)|
JRU 70 - MIT 69
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Player of the Game : With defense starting to key in on John Lopez, having identified him as "the man," Jeckster Apinan used the opportunity to waltz in and score unhindered several times, allowing him to hit 16 points on 11 of 7 shooting, in just 26 minutes of play. He also added five rebounds, two assists and two steals to just one turnover. More importantly, Apinan scored 10 big points in the final quarter, paving the way for JRU to upset.
JRU Stat to Watch : Late in the fourth quarter, JRU added a new wrinkle to their full-court press, switching it up to trapping the ball handler by the sideline just as he crossed half court. The trap worked brilliantly, especially in the light of the fact that the Mapua ballhandlers seemed to go there automatically, essentially playing into the Heavy Bombers' schemes. If that is a tendency of Mapua, credit goes to the JRU coaching staff for catching that, as it allowed them to finish with a 13-19 advantage in turnovers (though Mapua still finished with more turnover points, 18 for the Cards to 17 for JRU).
JRU Player to Watch : Do-it-all rookie John Villarias continued his strong play, though he didn't need to make too much of an impact thanks to Raycon Kabigting rediscovering his touch from outside. Villarias finished with 10 points in 21 minutes, while also chipping in four rebounds, four assists and a steal. Six of his points came in the first quarter, when JRU was in danger of being overwhelmed, so kudos to the kid.
MIT Stat to Watch : Mapua's fourth quarter woes continued, this time with a 22 to 9 performance that saw the Cardinals shut down offensively with about four minutes remaining.
MIT Player to Watch : Poor, poor Allan Mangahas. For some weird reason, MIT coach Chito Victolero wants nothing to do with the guy, demoting him to the bench unit in lieu of Jonathan Banal. And what a wacky bench unit it was! Aside from Mangahas, there was a pair of tiny guards who can't create their own shots, Andretti Stevens and Jumel Chien, plus two back to the basket big men, Mark Sarangay and Mike Parala. Mangahas basically had to carry the scoring load for the reserves, finishing with just 7 in 18 minutes as defenses honed in on him (he did manage five assists out of double teams and three steals). Just when you thought his hard play was going to be rewarded, a Victolero, shock of all shocks, kept him on the floor down the stretch, his own teammate Yousef Taha whacks him open with an elbow, forcing him to leave the court. And then they lost. Allan Mangahas, everyone.
- Fueled by adrenaline, Mapua started the game with 10 fastbreak points. They then scored just two more the entire game. It was the opposite for JRU, which scored 0 in the first, and then had six in the final quarter.
- Josan Nimes' performance looks impressive, but the rookie scored all 19 of his points in the first half. He and Taha also had the most turnovers on the squad, with four each.
|Upset bid upset, Lastimosa couldn't drive in the final nail to topple San Beda (pic source)|
SBC 79 - CSB 78
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Player of the Game : With his team falling apart around him, Baser Amer decided "screw it, I'll do this!" and went to town, dropping all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter, nine coming from beyond the arc, and dishing out three of his seven assists. And still, it was nearly not enough as the rookie missed two huge free throws that left the door open for Carlo Lastimosa to win the game.
SBC Stat to Watch : San Beda's usual trick of beating the zone by running was not on display today, as the Red Lions turned seven fast break opportunities into just seven points. The outside shot wasn't falling either for them, as they were 7 of 24 from beyond the arc.
SBC Player to Watch : Baser Amer did turn in a breakout performance, but more by necessity rather than any garbage time shenanigans (see above for more).
CSB Stat to Watch : With the Red Lions looking disoriented and lost, Benilde only coughed up the ball 16 times, to 14 turnovers by San Beda. CSB was also able to slightly edge SBC in terms of turnover points, getting 20 to the Red Lions' 19.
CSB Player to Watch : Mark Romero played 34 minutes but had little impact on the stat sheet, finishing with six points on two triples, three rebounds and two assists. Of bigger importance though, are his two missed free throws late in the fourth, which, had he converted, would have put the Blazers over the top.
- Benilde had the right idea to take it hard to the Red Lions, getting 34 attempts from the foul line (making 24 for 71%) to just 18 for San Beda (who made 12, for 67%). More importantly, it forced Coach Lim to go with other line-ups, as guys like Anjo Caram, Dave Marcelo, Jake Pascual, Rome Dela Rosa all finished with four fouls.
- Garvo Lanete picked a horrible night to go 1/10 from beyond the arc, as San Beda's resident zone buster went ice cold.
- Jonathan Grey continued his campaign for more minutes, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. Paolo Taha also had a good showing, 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and a block in 17 minutes. With those two playing well, it's no wonder Michael Pate was chained to the bench.
NCAA Picking Record: 13-8