|At the line - Arellano keeps their slim playoff shots alive (pic source)|
AU 89 - LPU 77
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Player of the Game : Andrian Celada showed off the form that made him a Mythical Five selection last season, scoring 29 points on efficient 8 of 12 shooting from the field, 7 of 9 from the free throw line. Given the small nature of his opponents, Celada was also able to wreck havoc defensively, scoring two steals and two blocks.
AU Positives :
- The Chiefs kept chucking up three's, and they kept going in when they needed them the most, sinking 11 of 33 from beyond the arc to keep the Pirates out of the game. Most impressive was Celada's 6 for 8 clip, as all the rest of the players made just one of their numerous attempts each.
- Coming into this game, the Chiefs averaged 17.32 turnovers, but committed a season-low eight against the Pirates. They also came up with a season-high 11 steals, forcing 22 turnovers and scoring a whopping 32 turnover points from those mistakes, another best mark for the year.
- Foul trouble nearly hampered the Chiefs, as Vergel Zulueta and Mark Doligon both fouled out, with Gerald Lapuz and Ralph Salcedo candidates to graduate as well with four fouls each. Luckily, the Pirates were unable to press their advantage.
LPU Positives :
- It seems like a make it a point to mention the small size of the Pirates each game, but they still manage to dominate the boards, getting a 62-29 rebounding advantage, even though the Chiefs barely zoned in this game. Lyceum also tripled Arellano's offensive rebounds, getting 27 to just 9 by their opponents. This strong interior play was highlighted by starting center Onofre Napiza, who turned in an 18-16 performance in 30 minutes of play.
- Bench scoring played a huge role in this game again as Shane Ko and Chris Cayabyab scored just 16 points. In their absence, Floricel Guevarra and Vence Laude filled in the void, with 18 points and 16 points respectively.
- For all those offensive rebounds, Lyceum was only able to lead the second-chance points category by a slim margin, 10 to 7, being unable to convert on all those extra possessions.
- Lyceum entered this game as the best three-point shooting team, only to see themselves suffocated, and held to 1 of 12 shooting from beyond the arc. That's their second worst performance from outside, after a 1 for 22 game against EAC in round one.
|Still standing - another last-second win propels SSCR to 15-0 (pic source)|
SSCR 72 - MIT 69
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Player of the Game : Calvin Abueva, we meet again. "The Beast" dominated with 26 points and 16 rebounds, but his biggest contributions were his two triples, his only shots from beyond the arc that night as they kept San Sebastian's heads above water.
MIT Positives :
- Josaaaaaaaan Nimes! Nimes made-up for not scoring 20 points in their last game by exploding for 31, 21 points in the third quarter alone. He was also efficient in the way he scored, going 4 for 7 from outside, 6 of 9 from inside the arc, and 7 of 9 from the line. The problem? After being sat down to catch a breather at the end of the third, the MIT coaching staff then forgot about him, keeping him seated too long despite the close nature of the game.
- Mapua had opportunities to win this game, but Allan Mangahas wasn't aware enough of the time, forcing up a heave (that admittedly came this close to falling in, if you take away the bounce), and then on the last play, Nimes opting not to take the shot, passing the ball to an unprepared Yousef Taha. We thought the Cardinals had left their fourth-quarter woes behind with their improved second round play, but apparently, it still pops up every now and then.
- Outside of Nimes, Mapua saw some poor performances from their other players. Taha was 4 of 13 from the field and 2 of 11 from the line. The point guards Jonathan Banal and Allan Mangahas scored just seven points on 3 of 14 shooting. Save for Taha, no other big was active on the boards. While Nimes could probably carry the squad against lower-tier teams, they can't rely on him solely if they want to topple one of the teams ahead of them in the standings.
SSCR Positives :
- The Stags showed composure under fire again for the second straight close game, Ian Sangalang coming up with the big steal off Mark Sarangay, and then Ronald Pascual nailing two charities, after a big triple by Calvin Abueva a few plays earlier. That's the sort of late-game resolve they can bank on when they play Letran and San Beda down the line as their regular season schedule hits the twilight phase.
- Sangalang was once again kept in check, this time finishing with just 11 points and seven rebounds, though as mentioned, he came up with the big steal late. With defenses keying in on the more "flamboyant" members of the Big Three, Sangalang ought to demand the ball more from double-teams, using his height and speed to draw mismatches, especially if the opposing team is in a zone, as he can hit that short-range jumper from the zone's gaps.
NCAA Picking Record: 51-18-1