In a back and forth encounter by these two squads, things boiled down to a shooting duel between Nate Matute and Floricel Guevarra late, as seven straight by the reserve Lyceum marksman got the Pirates to within a point, 61-60, with six minutes to play. Matute answered back with two triples to give JRU a two-possession advantage, but four from the stripe by Guevarra and Chris Cayabyab cut the lead down to a deuce, 68-66, but that was a close as they would go, as JRU took over from that point on. (Recap here)
What's at Stake:
- The Lyceum Pirates (4-5) are now in sole control of the fourth spot in the standings, thanks to a loss by the CSB Blazers. Winning this game not only gets them revenge, it also puts them at .500, causing separation between them and all the other aspirants from 5th place to 8th.
- The JRU Heavy Bombers (3-6) are one of those aspirants, looking to move up into the fourth seed. Beating Lyceum would put them at a tie at 4-6 along with the idle Mapua Cardinals, with CSB either above or below them depending on the results of their game against Perpetual Help.
Lyceum Player to Watch : Allan Santos has gone from being a double-double machine to just an ordinary back-up center, as teams have adjusted and made him try to get an awkward looking jump shot going. Santos was a horrible 1 for 10 from the field versus JRU, so he's got to drive hard to the rim and hopefully get John Lopez or Jeckster Apinan to sit down.
JRU Player to Watch : Nate Mattute scorched the rims when these two teams first met, scoring 23 points on a 5 of 11 three-pointer clip. Matute found himself falling back to Earth though in their next game against Letran, making just a single shot, one of his nine triple tries. Which Matute will show up for this game? JRU is obviously hoping it's the former.
Prediction: JRU Heavy Bombers