The Heavy Bombers won both of their encounters last season against the St. Benilde Blazers. In the first round, a tight game saw the Blazers get more turnover points, 21 to 16, than the Heavy Bombers, but clutch play from Raycon Kabigting and JR Bulangis wound up carrying the day for them. Round two would be a blowout though, despite tons of fastbreak and turnover points by Benilde. The 17 points of Nate Matute and Jeckster Apinan were simply too much for Carlo Lastimosa's 18 to handle, giving JRU a 73-55 win.These two teams also matched up in the Fil-Oil Preseason Tournament, in an overtime game that saw six JRU players hit double figures and break the century mark, overcoming 28 points from Carlo Lastimosa (the sole Blazer in double figures), 101-96.
Stat to Watch : Rather quietly, the Blazers have put together the second-most efficient offense, shooting 46.69% from the field (SBC is first with 46.88%). The problem though is that they get to that percentage by trying the least amount of shots, just 57.83 a game, thanks to a lack of offensive rebounds (9.67, second worst in the league) and steals (3.5, worst).
Player to Watch : Tim McCoy did all the dirty work in Benilde's win against Perpetual Help, snagging 10 rebounds and making 3 assists. Against the big men of JRU, McCoy will likely be called upon to provide some toughness down low. The offense can be nonexistent, there are enough guys for that, but they need someone to body up to John Lopez and stop him from going off. Seems to me like that might be up McCoy's alley.
Stat to Watch : JRU for whatever reason, cannot begin the game on the right foot, averaging the fewest first quarter points in the league, with just 13.2 points in the first period, the second worst meanwhile, UPHSD, norms 15.67, almost a whole field goal more. They make up for it sometimes in the second and fourth quarters though, allowing just 15.2 and 16.4 points respectively.
Player to Watch : Behind John Lopez has been Ronnel Carampil, the Robin to Lopez's Batman. Carampil averages 12.6 points, just 2 fewer than Lopez, while pulling down 5.2 rebounds, and dishing out 2.90 assists. With the lack of big man on the Benilde team, it's only fair for the Blazers to want to concentrate on stopping Lopez, but if that's the plan, Carampil is going to find himself in good position to score.
Prediction: JRU Heavy Bombers