Thursday, September 15, 2011


History Lesson:
In a "probationary member" versus "guest team" battle, the Lyceum Pirates got out ahead early to a 22-13 lead, but a persistent Arellano team kept launch comeback after comeback, at one point in the third quarter, getting to within a point, 47-46, after an 8-0 Chiefs blitz. That was as close as they would get though, as the Pirates banked on firepower off the bench from Floricel Guevarra and Gian Mallari to break the zone and keep the lead all the way to the final buzzer, 84-74. (Recap here)

What's at Stake:
  • At 4-10, the Arellano Chiefs are all but out of it, meaning they'll be going into this game with a spoiler's mentality, looking to take down other teams straddling the line between "having a chance" and "having no chance." 
  • The slipping Lyceum Pirates used to have the number four seed locked up, until suspensions, both internal and by the league, sent them spiraling downwards. At 5-8, they still have a chance at getting back to where they were, but it's an uphill climb for this team.

AU Stat to Watch : Since the latter part of the first round, the Chiefs have gone to great lengths to solve their bench scoring woes, shuffling their personnel around and giving more minutes to guys like Mark Doligon and Ronnel Del Rosario. As a result, they've gone from a league-worst 15.11 bench points to 25.4 points from the reserves. However, head coach Leo Isaac still ought to consider giving more minutes to Chris Okpe to defend the paint, especially when you consider the lack of size of Lyceum.
AU Player to Watch : Vergel Zulueta came out on top in the scoring duel versus Chris Cayabyab, with 23 points to Cayabyab's 20, on some insane numbers: 9/10 from inside the arc, 10/12 from the line, five rebounds and five assists. After scoring just six markers versus JRU, expect Zulueta to look to bounce back.

LPU Stat to Watch : Lyceum used to be a decent shooting team, ranked in the middle at 39.63 percent after round one. But with all the upheaval this team has faced since then, plus the fact that teams have seen enough to scout this guest squad, the Pirates have gone all the way down to the bottom of the sea, just 34.11 percent shooting in round two, worst in the league. Over the length of the whole season, they're about third-worst, at 37.97 percent.
LPU Player to Watch : With Allan Santos reportedly out of Lyceum (and spotted at the Adamson game to boot, cheering on his old team!), it's up to Onofre Napiza to man the middle for the Pirates. Napiza came up with a 10-point, six rebound game in their last outing, helped by the Arellano zone, and so if the Chiefs keep on trotting out that defense, smart boxing out may lead to easy second-chance points.

Prediction: LPU Pirates

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