Sunday, September 18, 2011


History Lesson:
The Blazers leaned on the late-game heroics of Carlo Lastimosa to win a hard-fought game, as last season's rookie of the year drove hard down the lane and scored over John Villarias to put his squad up 78-77. With just five seconds left on the clock and the length of the court to traverse, JRU did not have enough time to counter, falling after leading throughout the game's three quarters.  Free throws were the key to this game, as Benilde tallied 52 attempts compared to just a measly 11 for JRU. (Recap here)

What's at Stake:
  • With the Blazers at 5-8 and the Heavy Bombers at 5-9, both these teams have a clear shot at overtaking the Mapua Cardinals, who absorbed a loss to San Sebastian, and now find themselves at 6-7. A win here puts either team that much closer to the fourth seed, while a loss puts the defeated in a position where they will have to sweep their remaining games in the vague hopes of forcing a playoff for the final playoff berth.

CSB Stat to Watch : The Blazers were the second best team at getting to the line in round one, attempting 30.22 free throws a game (Letran led the league with 32.11 tries). They've dropped to just 27.5 looks at the line in round two and have dropped to fourth, behind the Knights, Pirates and Stags. With Carlo Lastimosa leaving the team, they lose a large chunk of their perimeter scoring, so it's possible that you'll see Jonathan Grey and Paolo Taha compensate by attacking the rim.
CSB Player to Watch : With Mark Romero and Carlo Lastimosa both gone, CSB loses the two players that played the most minutes for them. That means someone like Jonathan Grey serves to gain from the sudden abundance of playing time. Grey currently averages 12 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 21.5 minutes, but giving him 30 minutes sees his production shoot up to 16.74 points, 6.56 rebounds, 3.35 assists and 1.53 steals if he remains consistent.

JRU Stat to Watch : Versus the Red Lions, the Heavy Bombers were able to fully realize their inside-out attack, making a season-high seven triples on 36.84 percent shooting, their second-best mark from downtown. If they can pull off a similar feat, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them win three in a row.
JRU Player to Watch : John Lopez was not bothered by the many big men of San Beda, scoring 17 points in the game, the first time he's hit double-digit scoring in their last five games. That came about because he also spent more time on the floor, notching just a single foul, the first time that happened all season. The first time they played Benilde, Lopez fouled out after just 15 minutes of play. That can't happen if they want to split the season series.

Prediction: JRU Heavy Bombers

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