Sunday, August 14, 2011


History Lesson:
The Cardinals beat out the Altas twice last season. In the first round, four different Cardinals scored in double-digits, overwhelming a Perpetual Help squad that got 23 points from Arnold Danganan and 16 points from Jett Vidal, but not much else, leading to a 79-65 win. Round two though was a closer affair, as the Altas got 17 fastbreak points to nada from Mapua, but Allan Mangahas' 24 was still too much to overcome, giving them a 79-72 win.

What's at Stake:

  • The Cardinals (2-6) have largely disappointed this season, after being primed as a Final Four contender. They've played somewhat better, giving teams like the San Beda Red Lions a hard time, but it hasn't translated into wins yet. They still have a long shot to get the fourth spot, but they'll need a gaudy win streak to make it that far.
  • The Altas (1-6) now inhabit the cellar all by themselves, having been left their when the Chiefs notched win number two against the Blazers. Perpetual Help doesn't have a lot of scorers or rebounders, and thus, do not have a lot of wins. 

MIT Stat to Watch : The Cardinals are often content to just bomb away from outside, leading the league in triple attempts with 22.63. The problem is they're converting at just 27.07 percent, third worst in the league. Meanwhile, they forget that they have a ton of size, making just 18.88 two-pointers on average. If they play that way against the Altas, that only helps Perpetual Help, which doesn't have the size to defend them if they opt to just pound the ball into Taha play after play.
MIT Player to Watch : Since assuming the starting center position, Yousef Taha has produced double-digit rebounds in all three games, averaging 13.67 and around two blocks per game. He is however, turning the ball over 4.67 times and is shooting only 40 percent, partly because he's become too fond of putting the ball on the floor, a move that 99.999% of the time results in a turnover. As mentioned above, if they can just set Taha up in the low post and feed him the ball there over and over, this game should be easily won.

UPHSD Stat to Watch : The Altas have been the model of basketball frustration, making the least field goals of the 10 NCAA schools, 24.43, as well as the least free throws, just 12 a game. A low-scoring affair puts things right in Perpetual Help's backyard, but a run and gun, high scoring game might doom them as they struggle to keep up.
UPHSD Player to Watch : Already without his big men and Arnold Danganan, Vidal was forced to take the starring role when Jeorge Allen went down, and the situation showed he may not quite be ready for stardom yet, as he's average a paltry 11.4 points on 26 percent field goal shooting, making just 22 percent of his triples. It might be unfair to him to cast him as a go-to guy but then, who else is there really?

Prediction: MIT Cardinals

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