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Player of the Game : Jonathan Grey gave the Blazers a huge lead in the fourth quarter, capped off by a fancy looking dunk that got his side of the Arena rocking. The rookie finished with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes, and while the Blazers nearly lost that lead later on, we'll have to pin that on the whole team.
CSB Positives :
- Getting to the line provided nearly a third of the Blazers' output, as CSB made 21 of 32 foul shots. That compensated for a poor-shooting night from outside, 3 for 16 or 19 percent.
- Benilde got a slight advantage on fastbreaks, scoring 11 points in transition in the second half of the game. They had scored just two points prior, with only two attempts.
- Carlo Lastimosa had the worst scoring output of his young career, playing just 16 minutes, and scoring three points on 1 of 6 shooting. While it is good to see that the team can win without big points from him, the former Rookie of the Year looks lost at times, especially when he's not the focal point of the offense.
- Losing forward Mark Romero will really have a telling effect on this squad's chances of making the playoffs. Romero provided solid rebounding ability and could stretch the floor by hitting triples. With him out, Jan Tan, Ian Dela Paz and Tim McCoy will really need to improve their game, though Dela Paz did score nine points and pull down five rebounds in this match. You might also see more of rookie big man Alison Carlos, as the Blazers are definitely spoiling for height.
AU Positives :
- Vergel Zulueta put up 19 points in just 18 minutes, and nearly brought the Chiefs back from the dead with his two huge triples. That makes it a mystery as to why acting head coach Junjie Ablan didn't field him in the first half.
- Almost out of desperation, the Chiefs fielded in their foreign player Chris Okpe, and while he was mediocre on offense, he was a tremendous defensive presence, especially when you consider how small the Benildre frontcourt is. Okpe tallied five boards, all on the offensive end, and swatted five shots in the 15 minutes he was on the court.
- Not a lot of scoring support for Andrian Celada this time, outside of Zulueta and Gerald Lapuz. Point guard Rocky Acidre had just two points, all from the free throw line, while Ronnel Del Rosario and Mark Doligon combined for eight.
- It didn't help that Celada accounted for seven of his team's 20 turnovers, allowing the Blazers to get out on the break and run in the second half of the game.
UPHSD 78 - LPU 73
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Player of the Game : Harold Arboleda came up clutch, dropping 9 of his 16 points in the final period, while adding seven rebounds overall. With Jett Vidal checked by Shane Ko, the Altas needed scoring from other sources, and Arboleda definitely delivered, allowing Perpetual Help to snatch the lead and keep it with them.
UPHSD Positives :
- Four Altas scored in double figures led by Arboleda's 16 points and 13 from Vidal. With multiple contributors, it becomes much harder for opposing defenses to concentrate on stopping just one guy, which is a must given this squad's lack of a true go-to guy. They also had Scottie Thompson with nine markers, and Jeorge Allen with eight, not far behind them.
- Head coach Jimwell Gican drew up a gorgeous set play late in the game that turned out to be the dagger. With four of his guys scattered around the perimeter and Allen set up as the token rebounder, Lyceum's players were so focused on stopping a three pointer that Thompson was able to send a casual bounce pass down the lane to Allen for the wide-open layup, and the 76-73 lead.
- Letting the Pirates retake the lead late in the third was a bit of a downer, but credit to the Altas for not giving up and still fighting.
LPU Positives :
- After trailing the entire first half, the Pirates unleashed a 31-19 third quarter that swung the advantage over to their side, as Chris Cayabyab and Dexter Zamora combined for 15 big points.
- The Pirates' backcourt was particularly amazing in the face of the loss. Both Cayabyab and Shane Ko tallied double-doubles, with the former getting 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Ko scored 11 and dished out 10 assists.
- True, they were down by just one point late in the game, but it was still out of character of the team to go for a two-pointer, especially since the guy driving was Jan Lacap, who totaled just 10 minutes of play and hadn't even attempted a shot prior to that drive. If the defense on Cayabyab was the problem, then why not go to Floricel Guevarra or Shane Ko?
- Looking to match up with the smaller Perpetual Help team, the Pirates made the move to sit Allan Santos. While he was a flop offensively, (0/2 from the field, 0/2 from the free throw line), he was able to grab a rebound for every minute he was on the court (four each). He really should have been given more minutes, if only to guard guys like Justine Alano and Jeorge Allen.
- Despite getting a 16-10 advantage on the offensive glass, the Pirates scored a measly two second chance points, compared to the nine of the Altas.
NCAA Picking Record: 44-15-1