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Player of the Game : Jeric Fortuna was captain clutch for the Growling Tigers, nailing big shots in the fourth quarter and overtime, basically carrying UST to the win. He finished with 23 points, 14 in the game's last 15 minutes, shooting 3 of 7 from beyond the arc, 10 of 23 overall. He also had 6 rebounds, 3 offensive, and dished out 2 dimes, plus 1 steal.
NU Stat to Watch : What's the big difference early on between this season's Bulldogs and last season's Bulldogs? The pace has picked up for this squad a bit, with NU attempting and completing more fast breaks, but this is still a turnover-prone squad, as seen by their 24 miscues. Center Emmanuel Mbe totaled 5 in 37 minutes, while Glenn Khobuntin notched 6 in just 25 minutes of play.
NU Player to Watch : Parks' statline was mighty impressive: 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks to just 2 turnovers, but he needed 20 field goals and 8 free throw attempts to get those 16 points, and he could have been more aggressive with the ball down the stretch. I personally would like to see post up more often, especially when he has a smaller defender on him, like in this game, where Jeric Teng basically survived while hounding Parks on the perimeter.
UST Stat to Watch : The Tigers weren't their usual sharp selves from the outside, perhaps as a result of losing Clark Bautista. Aside from Fortuna, only Kevin Ferrer and Teng attempted treys, combining for 1 of 10, with the team finishing at 23.5%, 4 of 17 from outside. They did do a better job defensively, holding NU to 40% shooting.
Player to Watch : Like many of his bluechip rookie peers, Ferrer finds himself recast as a roleplayer on a squad of veterans, but unlike Baser Amer or Kiefer Ravena, Ferrer's 6'4" size allows him to do other things when he doesn't have the ball. After scattering four points per quarter in the first three periods, Ferrer went silent, but still finished with 11 rebounds, four on the offensive end.
- The Tigers still live and die by their jump shot, as they attempted just 9 free throws in a game that went to overtime, making a solitary charity. In contrast, NU was 16 of 23 from the free throw line.
- Despite not having a tall ceiling (and considering how they were up against Emmanuel Mbe), the Tigers still managed a 22 to 15 edge in offensive rebounds, which translated to 21 second chance points.
- One big weakness of this NU team is their point guards. Gelo Alolino, Cedrick Labing-isa, and Joseph Terso combined for 5 points on 2 of 10 shooting, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 4 turnovers. With Parks usually handling the ball, the most these guys can hope for is to make themselves open for a kick out and triple, and that didn't work out well in this game.
UP 69 - UE 61
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Player of the Game : Mike Gamboa played a game-high 29 minutes and led all scorers with 19 markers (4/12 3pt, 6/15 FG). He also pulled down 5 rebounds, dished out 6 assists, and had just a solitary turnover. He could throttle down a bit on those triple tries (some were embarassing airballs that had no chance of grazing the rim), but he's exactly what the Maroons need at point guard right now.
UE Stat of the Game : The Warriors actually manned the boards well, dominating the taller UP line-up to the tune of +12 rebounds, +4 offensive rebounds. Hustle from Adrian Santos and Jairold Flores paid off, but they just couldn't convert on those second chance opportunities, getting just 8 points in that category.
UE Player of the Game : Roi Sumang didn't look like the guy tearing up the Father Martin Cup late last year, playing just 20 minutes, and finishing with 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 turnovers. His speed was largely matched by Gamboa, and his teammates had difficulty scoring off his passes. Chalk this one up to the difference between off-season tournaments and the actual UAAP proper.
UP Stat of the Game : Though Mike Silungan wasn't lighting it up from downtown (1/4 from 3pt), he turned in a very efficient night's shooting, finishing with a 53.85 field goal percentage.
UP Player to Watch : It surprised me that UP opted to start hustle player Miggy Maniego in lieu of Jett Manuel, but that actually gave Manuel the opportunity to star on the second unit, and he did so, finishing with 13 points on 6 of 14 shooting. Also highly impressive was his third-quarter performance, when he fired in 9 straight to close out the period for the Maroons.
- Turnovers turned out to be the death of UE, as they committed 24 miscues which led to 22 turnover points from UP.
- UP might challenge UST in terms of least free throws taken per game, as they finished with just 9 as well. The difference though, is that UP converts the charities, making 7 of 9.
- UE's perimeter game was pretty bad. Led by Paul Zamar's 1 of 8 three-point performance, the rest of the Red Warriors were a combined 1 of 9, with BJ Zosa contributing the only other triple.
UAAP Picking Record: 2-2