With FEU at its zenith in terms of basketball ability and UE waning last season, it's surprising to note that both encounters by these two teams last season were actually close affairs. In their first meeting, FEU was only up by a single point, going into the fourth quarter, 67-66, before busting out a 24-15 run that ultimately gave them the 91-81 win, in spite of a 27 point, 9 rebound, 4 assist performance by Paul Lee. Round two was even tighter, as RR Garcia missed on a game-winning drive, thus necessitating overtime, where FEU tightened up on "D" and held the Red Warriors to just 5 points while scoring 11 themselves. Most recently, UE found itself within two points, 79-77, with seconds to go, but steady free throwing shooting from Jens Knuttel kept them at bay, for the 80-77 win in the Fil-Oil Tournament.
FEU Stat to Watch : The Tams were crushed in every hustle point category, scoring just 2 fastbreak points, 2 second chance points and 4 turnover points. It's unlikely that they'll be as impotent against a poor defensive unit like UE though, at least, that's what coach Bert Flores is hoping.
FEU Player to Watch : Part of the reason why FEU is having trouble scoring is because Terrence Romeo has been off in their first two games, shooting just 11.76 percent from the floor, while averaging 5.5 points a game. He averaged 8 in 10 less minutes a season ago. While's been contributing in other areas (8 rebounds, 6 assists per game), playing UE might be just the trick he needs to get his shot back online.
UE Stat to Watch : Part of what has made this incarnation of the Red Warriors so easy to defend is their inability to hit outside shots. They've made just three in their two games combined, on 34 attempts. If guys like Von Chavez and Lucas Tagarda start nailing triples, that might open up the floor for their many slashers.
UE Player to Watch : The Red Warriors have gone from one Paul as their leading scorer to another Paul, Zamar to be precise. The transition hasn't been smooth though. Zamar is actually shooting better from the field than Lee (35.48 from the field, while Lee finished the season at 32.56 percent), but much worse from downtown, where he's just 6.67 percent (Lee, in comparison, was 24.42). If UE continues to go with Zamar as their go-to guy, they need to get him better shots, as he's been just average when creating on his own.
Prediction: FEU Tamaraws