Jolas Paguia made a big splash in his NCAA debut, keying in a huge 19-2 fourth quarter run that upended the Arellano Chiefs in the final period, part of a 34-18 final period that pulled the EAC Generals back from the brink to start off their season with a win, 84-77. Paguia, a former FEU-FERN Baby Tam, scored 22 points and was 9 of 14 from the field with nine rebounds, as his ability to stretch the floor, combined with his size, gave the Arellano zone fits. Rocky Acidre led the Chiefs with 21 markers, but they simply could not sustain the lead. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- Both these teams are tied at 3-7, albeit headed in different directions. The Generals started out hot with wins against the Chiefs and Lyceum, but they've floundered after that with the offense becoming increasingly stagnant. On the other hand, the Chiefs were able to come back from a sluggish start to the season, notching victories against St. Benilde and Perpetual Help in the latter part of the first round. A win here ties the victor with idle CSB at 4-7, while the loser falls to 3-8, making any prospective battle for the fourth seed a dim affair.
AU Player to Watch : Against a team that puts no defensive pressure on the point guard, Rocky Acidre posted his best game of the season, 21 points on on 7 of 11 shooting, three rebounds, two assists, and most importantly, zero turnovers. He hasn't been as efficient shooting the ball or taking care of it, so maybe another match with EAC will revitalize the embattled point guard.
EAC Player to Watch : Speaking of guards who had great first games and then disappeared into the aether, Milan Vargas showed no problems coming back from a knee injury over the summer, kick-starting the season with 18 points on 67 percent shooting and five assists, number he hasn't come close to replicating since. Here's hoping he regains his groove against the Chiefs again.
Prediction: Arellano Chiefs