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Player of the Game : It's one of those times when I have to give this to someone on the losing team. Remy Morada basically kept the EAC Generals from losing by 20+ points (exaggeration, but still) with his out of nowhere 28 point explosion, 17 coming in the third quarter, when EAC briefly harbored comeback aspirations. He shot 11 of 16 from the field, 5 of 7 from downtown, and added five rebounds, three assists and two steals in the process, to just two turnovers, while playing 35 minutes. Without Milan Vargas and Joshua Torralba, the Generals were lucky to find another talent on their bench to keep them competitive.
AU Positives :
- Head coach Leo Isaac expanded his rotation to include 10 players, and the move allowed him to keep his guys fresh (with the exception of Andrian Celada, who played 38 minutes). The reserves were led once again by Mark Doligon, whose hot shooting led to 14 markers, as well as four boards, two assists and two blocks.
- The Chiefs outhustled the Generals in fastbreak points, 13 to 8, and in turnover points, 18 to 10. They also tallied a whopping 20 to 8 advantage in assists.
- Seeing the depleted Generals line-up before them, the Chiefs decided to attack, attack, attack. EAC as a result, had one guy foul out and three players tagged with four fouls. With an already shortened line-up, that forced head coach Gerry Esplana's hand, putting third-stringers on the court. Another consequence was that Arellano got 40 looks at the foul stripe, of which they converted 28.
- Arellano managed just 35 percent shooting, despite playing an already poor defensive team stripped of some of their more athletic players.
EAC Positives :
- EAC was at least able to go down swinging despite their numbers. They also managed to shoot well (when they took care of the ball), leading to 43 percent shooting on the balance, 24 of 56 from the field, and a scorching 8 of 17 stint from beyond the arc.
- The Generals still couldn't take care of the ball, resulting in 21 turnovers that the Chiefs pounced on. Six of those came from Claude Cubo, and five were from Jan Jamon, their two most veteran players.
- After a slow start, the Generals forgot about Jolas Paguia for awhile, only to realize he created mismatches with the Arellano bigs, using him to break their fourth quarter dry spell by getting him into the post. In truth, they should have gone to the post more often with him and Cubo, instead of hanging around throwing up jumpers, regardless of how good their shooting percentage wound up being. It could have still been higher.
- Only eight assists again for this team. Even without Torralba, this squad still succumbed to one on one play.
MIT 65 - UPHSD 62
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Player of the Game : Josan Nimes is becoming the face of the Mapua Cardinals. Nimes sparked Mapua's second quarter comeback, and then helped seal the game with six in the fourth quarter and the huge assist to Yousef Taha for a critical score late. He finished with 21 markers on 7 of 13 shooting, 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, three rebounds and three assists. Nimes also shows great awareness, mixing up his long-range bombs with drives to the basket to keep the defense honest.
MIT Positives :
- The Cardinals have been winning games late, a far cry from their early season collapses. Now if they can just start posting big leads early...
- Despite a three-big man line-up to start the game, the Cardinals still found themselves being out-rebounded by 10 at the end of the first half. This despite the lack of height on the Perpetual side. Thankfully, they managed to control the boards late, especially in the second to the last possession where they kept getting the missed free throws for return trips to the line.
- Despite getting 28 free throws, the Cardinals made just 13 for 46 percent shooting from the line. They've been insanely inconsistent from that area, averaging around 60 percent.
UPHSD Positives :
- Once again the Altas came out looking to out-work their opponents, and it worked early on until their shots stopped falling. They can take some pride in the fact that they managed to out-rebound Mapua by 10 after twenty minutes though.
- Jett Vidal had an extremely efficient game, getting all 15 of his points from beyond the arc, while shooting fifty percent, 5 of 10.
- On the last play of the game, the Altas couldn't get the ball into Jett Vidal's hands, and were forced to settle for a Chris Elopre triple. I would have still forced it to Vidal due to his hot shooting, and the fact that they had enough time to try to bump off Jumel Chien, his defender, by running him through a screen or something similar.
- Despite their lack of height, the Altas did not even get a single fastbreak attempt for easy points. They also were unable to take advantage of Mapua's 18 turnovers, getting a mere five points off those miscues.
NCAA Picking Record: 39-14-1 (I forgot to pick between MIT and UPHSD)