Sunday, September 25, 2011


History Lesson:
After four games of futility, the Cardinals finally notched their first win by beating the EAC Generals. One could possibly put an asterisk on the game though, as MIT was lucky to be facing a shorter Generals team, as Claude Cubo was serving a one-game suspension. That allowed Mapua to score inside with abandon, forming a 64-51 lead at the end of three quarters. Just to be sure there wasn't going to be any late-game shenanigans though, the Cardinals tacked on a 9-0 run to start the fourth, and held Emilio Aguinaldo to just 12 fourth quarter points, closing with a final score of 80-63. (Recap here)

What's at Stake:  
  • At 6-9, the Cardinals surrendered their fourth place spot and dropped a half-game behind into fifth place, as they look up at the 7-9 JRU Heavy Bombers. Both those teams struggled in the first round but seem to have regained their groove. However, only one of those two stepladder teams from last season will get a chance to return to the post-season, making this game a must-win for Mapua to keep in step with their rivals.
  • Technically winning all of their remaining games and watching the other five squads ahead of them not win any of their remaining encounters will get EAC into the Final Four, but that's hardly realistic. Thus, the Generals will have to content themselves with playing spoiler in this game.

MIT Stat to Watch : The Cardinals were held to a season-low 59 points, and had just one triple go in during their 76-59 loss to San Beda. Luckily for Mapua, the Cardinals were in a similar slump early in the first round before finding their groove against the Generals (from 37.49 percent shooting and 23.25 field goals made per game to 45 percent and 27 shots made). History may just repeat itself here.
MIT Player to Watch : After a pedestrian three games where Allan Mangahas scored just a total of 16 points, "The Snake" dropped 19 versus San Beda, including 12 in the third period, as he desperately tried to keep the Cardinals in the thick of things. If he can keep up his strong play versus EAC, he could find himself on a roll to close out the eliminations.

EAC Stat to Watch : The Generals attained their season-low 58 points going up against the Letran Knights, as the EAC players simply could not take care of the ball, turning it over 32 times, the second game they've tallied that many errors (JRU in round one was the first). The Cardinals norm the second fewest forced turnovers, just 15.93 a game, but Emilio Aguinaldo committed 23 in their first round encounter, most being of the unforced variety. Ball-handling has been a season long problem, and it's likely to continue to plague this team in this game.
EAC Player to Watch : Joshua Torralba returned after missing three games to a groin injury, but he was far from game shape when they played Letran, scoring just two points in 18 minutes of play, on 1 of 7 shooting with three turnovers to boot. We'll see if he's bounced back since then in this game.

Prediction: MIT Cardinals

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