|On a run - the Letran Knights have quietly settled into third places with an eye towards moving up (pic source)|
CSJL 70 - JRU 59
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Player of the Game : As head coach Louie Alas said, this was the Raymond Almazan show. The 6'7" center was the foundation for the Letran win, corralling 17 big rebounds, six on the offensive end, and blocking four shots, to go along with his eight points, three assists and one steal. With no one who could match him down low, JRU had a difficult time on both ends of the court, leading to their loss
JRU Positives :
- After some quiet outings, both John Lopez and Alex Almario came to play. Lopez led JRU with 16 points on 7 of 14 shooting, and had six rebounds. Almario on the other hand, finished with 14 markers on 3 of 7 shooting while also converting 8 of 11 from the arc. He also added four boards and four dimes.
- That said, Lopez disappeared in the second and third quarters, coming up with nothing in those two periods. Meanwhile, most of Almario's fourth quarter production can be traced to when the game was already out of reach, getting to the line against the third-stringers of the Knights.
- After playing hero by nailing some big triples versus the Lyceum Pirates, Nate Matute was miserable in today's game, going 1 for 9 from beyond the arc while missing all of his two-point shots. Amazingly, only one other player attempted a triple in addition to Matute, Almario, who missed his singular attempt.
- Only Jeckster Apinan (11 rebounds) came ready to battle on the boards today, as the rest of the JRU frontcourt were severely lacking. Jay-ar Gaco, Ronnel Carampil, Ralph Monserat and John Montemayor combined for just two lousy rebounds, allowing Letran to double JRU's offensive rebounds, 22 to 11.
CSJL Positives :
- Lots of grit shown by the Knights in this game, as they survived early foul trouble to Kevin Alas, Franz Dysam and Jam Cortes, and then got the win without Jonathan Belorio who got busted up by an elbow.
- Lots of credit needs to be given to the Letran defense for completely shutting down the Heavy Bombers. Entering the game, JRU averaged 10.13 fastbreak points and a league-best 19.25 turnover points. The Knights held the Heavy Bombers to just 4 and 5 points respectively, forcing them to win the game in the halfcourt which they were unable to do.
- The Knights could have created a lot more separation had they made more of their free throws. They were just 21 of 34 from the line and have averaged about 60 percent in their first eight games. Those are points that can come in handy versus SSC-R and SBC.
|Physical but fair - the more freewheeling coach Robinson has created a more disciplined Stags squad (pic source)|
SSCR 70 - SBC 68
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Player of the Game : Despite some awful shooting numbers (2/12 from downtown, 7/24 overall), Ronald Pascual found Calvin Abueva on the go-ahead basket, just one of his five assists, that went along with his being the top-scorer for both teams. Pascual also added seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 36 long minutes of play.
SBC Positives :
- The Red Lions did their best to make sure that not every member of the Pampanga Trio would have a big game, shutting down Ian Sangalang by holding him to just nine points and eight rebounds, forcing the Stags to shoot more perimeter jumpers.
- San Beda had difficulties with the zone of San Sebastian, making just 2 of 13 triples. Surprisingly, they didn't try to bring in Anthony Semerad, especially when Ian Sangalang had to sit down because of cramps, to spread the floor. They also didn't give more time to Melo Lim, who probably would not have been a defensive liability with guys like Lyle Antipuesto and Jovit Dela Cruz on the other side of the court.
- In hindsight, it's a bit odd that Coach Lim did not try to get his star player Garvo Lanete more involved in the final period. Lanete had 0 points and the two potential game-winning shots by the Red Lions were hoisted up by Anjo Caram and Dave Marcelo.
SSCR Positives :
- The Stags did an astounding job defensively, holding San Beda to season-lows in multiple categories: points scored (68), two point percentage (38.89 percent), field goal percentage (34.33 percent), assists (15), points in a quarter (10), and tying a season-low in turnover points (8). Phew!
- Knowing how important it is to take care of the ball in this game, the Stags turned in a season-low of their own in turnovers, making just 18 miscues, four less than their average coming into the game.
- The Stags made some pretty dumb fouls in the game, with Abueva getting his third in the second period, and Del Rio getting his fourth midway through the fourth. It's perfectly okay for guys like Antipuesto or Dexter Maiquez to foul out because the guys on the bench (Dela Cruz and Michael Miranda, for example) are practically the same person, but you can't lose an Abueva and expect Kruschev Ferrer to do an adequate job replacing him.
NCAA Picking Record: 33-12