Tuesday, August 9, 2011


History Lesson:
Though the Heavy Bombers sported a foreign big man of their own, he and the rest of his team were simply no match for San Beda, as no JRU player scored in double-digits in the two games they played against the eventual champs. In round one, Borgie Hermida and Garvo Lanete provided the firepower to give the Red Lions a 68-52 thrashing in the second opening day game, while in round two it was Lanete again, this time with 23 points, to lead San Beda to a 78-46 win.

SBC Storyline : Two down, two to go. The defending champs neither blew out nor struggled against Letran and Mapua, as the build-up to the rematch of last season's Finals continues. Their warm-up for that game is JRU, who have underachieved without their foreign players, whom they jettisoned in the off-season. The Heavy Bombers employ a similar pressure defense as Letran, but have some talented, if under-sized, big men, similar to Mapua. The random element here will be how the team's bigs divvy up the minutes with Jake Pascual suspended one game for his flagrant foul. More Dave Marcelo for muscle? Or more Anthony Semerad for shooting?
Stat to Watch : With the Heavy Bombers getting a ton of points off turnovers, it's worth noting that the Red Lions hold opponents to just 12 turnover points a game, while averaging the fewest errors per game, 15.43. If JRU is forced into a half-court game, this might not be pretty for them.
Player to Watch : Anjo Caram has taken over the starting point guard spot from Baser Amer, which makes sense, as the Lions need a veteran to steer them in this stretch. But aside from experience, Caram has been providing better shooting, forming a lethal tag-team with Lanete. Amer also benefits from playing against the other team's second unit, helping him ease into the collegiate ranks at a more acceptable pace.

JRU Storyline : Sneaky St. Benilde got John Lopez into foul trouble early when they played JRU last week, and without their leading scorer, the Bombers quickly floundered, though John Montemayor and Ronnel Carampil did their best to fill in the void. While the Red Lions will be without Jake Pascual, that still leaves Kyle Pascual, Dave Marcelo and the Semerads to deal with, and I wouldn't put it past Coach Lim to instruct his boys to drive hard and fish for fouls when Lopez is between them and the rim. This would be a huge coup for JRU if they won, putting them right back in the hunt for a Final Four spot, but save for the come-from-behind win against Mapua, it's the Bombers who have been on the receiving end of upsets, and not the other way around.
Stat to Watch : The Heavy Bombers excel at forcing turnovers, 23 a game, a good number, but the problem is they almost always give it back, as they themselves norm 22.17 miscues, second in the league. With the Lions averaging 18.14 fastbreak points (first in the NCAA) and 18.29 turnover points (third, with JRU first), San Beda is apt to run those errors right back at the Heavy Bombers.
Player to Watch : Nate Matute returned from his groin injury, but was four points in 14 minutes. The JRU guards aside from John Villarias have barely contributed, with Alex Almario and Raycon Kabigting the poster childs for underperformance. If Matute can find his form and match Garvo Lanete basket for basket, JRU might have a chance in this game.

Prediction: San Beda Red Lions

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