The Soaring Falcons and Red Warriors split their season meetings last year. In the first encounter, a 69-56 affair that Adamson won, Alex Nuyles edged James Martinez in a duel of shooters, with the rest of Nuyles' fellows, specifically Eric Camson and Janus Lozada, mopping up the floor with Martinez's UE teammates, as even Paul Lee turned in a bad game. In the second round, Lee was once again a non-factor, but this time, so was Nuyles, and Martinez had friends in tow in the form of Lord Casajeros and Ken Acibar, helping the Warriors eke out the upset win, 71-63. The two teams also met in the summer Fil-Oil tournament, with Allen Etrone exploding for 16 points, to lead the Falcons to a 70-61 win.
Stat to Watch : Adamson dominates the boards, allowing opponents the fewest total rebounds, 37, and fewest offensive rebounds, 12.33. It'll be interesting to see if they can contain UE in those departments, as the Red Warriors are second in rebounds per game with 49, and in offensive rebounds a game, with 18.5.
Player to Watch : Eric Camson has been an underrated source of Adamson's early success, coming off the bench to provide both scoring and rebounds. After posting just 6 points and 6 rebounds against Ateneo, Camson came back in a big way, norming 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the past two games, while shooting 56% from the field. He'll be a tough match-up for any of UE's forwards as Camson easily outclasses them in nearly every statistic.
Stat to Watch : The Red Warriors find themselves dead last in offense, in points scored per game to be exact. They norm just 58 points an encounter, with opponents outscoring them by an average of 11.5 points. Adamson's ranked 4th in that category, with 70 points a game, a 12 point difference. Either the Red Warriors defense will have to be better, or someone needs to catch fire fast.
Player to Watch : After a cameo appearance versus FEU, RR De Leon got his baptism of fire as he tried to guard Greg Slaughter. Suffice to say, that didn't work out pretty well, as Slaughter finished with a double-double, but De Leon showed some flashes of brilliance, while finishing with 6 points and 6 rebounds. There's a chance he might see minutes again due to the presence of Austin Manyara and Jan Colina, but he's a long-term project for sure, joining other similar talents like Chris Javier and Roi Sumang. But if he can give a surprise or two, that might lead to an upset and a reversal of UE's fortunes.
Prediction: Adamson Soaring Falcons