|Flight time - Kevin Alas soared for 20 points and a 5-5-5 stat line (pic source)|
CSJL 69 - MIT 67
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Player of the Game : Kevin Alas may have taken a ton of shots (if you consider 6 of 24 shooting "a ton of shots"), but he made them when they needed them the most, scoring nine in the fourth quarter, and helping to force overtime with a huge triple. The playmaker was also 6 of 8 from the field, and tallied five rebounds, five assists, and five steals, plus a block for good measure, in 40 minutes of play.
CSJL Positives :
- Letran stopped the Cardinals when it mattered, preventing them from connecting late in the fourth and overtime, to eke out this win. Mapua was held to just 25 percent three-point shooting, 32 percent two-point shooting, and 30 percent field goal shooting overall, all of which are five-game lows.
- Just 16 attempts at the line is a season-low for the Knights, though they did manage to make 12 of them. Mapua's height was definitely a factor, discouraging drives to the rim.
- Letran's bigs all disappeared late in the game, as Jam Cortes, Jonathana Belorio and Raymond Almazan combined for just two points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
MIT Positives :
- Not only did Mapua give up just 16 Letran trips to the line, they were also able to clamp down on all of Letran's hustle point stats: eight fastbreak points, 11 second chance points, and 14 turnover points. Normally opponents can stop one or two, but it's rare for all the Knights to get stymied in all three, and the Cardinals were able to pull it off.
- Yousef Taha was in beast mode in the second half, scoring 14 of his 18 points, while also finishing with 14 rebounds, half on the offensive end. He scored six straight to give Mapua a three-point lead, but fatigue got to the big guys as his turnover and miss moments later, led to Letran forcing an extra period.
- Head coach Chito Victolero has a thing for stoppers at the shooting guard position, thus his insistence on trotting out guys like Jumel Chien and Andretti Stevens. The two combined to play 33 minutes, scoring seven points on 2 of 7 shooting, plus three rebounds. While I'm sure they must have bothered Kevin Alas even just a little bit, it shouldn't have resulted in Jonathan Banal playing just 21 minutes, and Allan Mangahas getting just 23 off the bench, especially when they needed guys to create a shot versus the Letran defense.
- Connected to above, the Cardinals needed more offense than ever, because Josan Nimes was rendered ineffective by the defense of VJ Espiritu. Nimes needed 18 attempts for his 16 points, added just two boards, no assists, and was 1 for 6 from downtown, his worst game, in four outings.
|Behind the ball - Ronald Pascual came up aces, burning JRU for 33 points (pic source)|
SSCR 78 - JRU 59
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Player of the Game : Ronald Pascual could not be stopped, knocking down 11 of his 15 shots, six of nine from downtown, on route to a career-high 33 points, as he shredded the JRU defenses. He also added four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in the process of the rout of the Heavy Bombers.
SSCR Positives :
- The Stags murdered JRU on the boards, more than doubling the 28 hauled down by the Heavy Bombers with 64. It was also a rout on the offensive glass, 33 to 13, and as a result, San Sebastian came up huge in second chance points, 24 to just (!) 2.
- Jovit Dela Cruz continues his improved play, finishing this game with nine points, nine rebounds and four assists. He's the next best scorer on this squad outside of the Big Three, but he's also contributing in all of the other categories too, which is necessary for when defenses tighten up on the Pampanga Trio
- It's the little things that annoys head coach Topex Robinson. Sure, the Stags got a 31 to 22 advantage in free throws, but they only converted 52 percent of them. They held JRU to just 15 turnover points, but San Sebastian still committed 25 errors. They were 6 of 12 from beyond the arc, but guess what? All six triples were by Ronald Pascual.
- Outside of Jovit Dela Cruz, a whopping five points total were scored by guys not from the Pampanga Trio.
JRU Positives :
- ...None really.
- Raycon Kabigting and Nate Matute, the two guys who were supposed to be the outside marksmen of this team, continue to struggle, putting up a combined 1 for 8 from downtown.
- Not a single Heavy Bomber finished with double-digit rebounds. In fact the best rebounder happened to be their point guard, Alex Almario, who had six.
- John Lopez keeps getting into foul trouble and it's affecting his play, as he finished in single-digits yet again, six points and five rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
NCAA Picking Record: 46-15-1