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Player of the Game : Kevin Alas notched a new career high, scoring 29 points on 8 of 18 shooting (just 1 of 5 from downtown, unfortunately). He also grabbed five rebounds, four on the offensive end, dished out 11 assists, and made three steals. With Letran forced to go small to match up with the tiny Knights, Alas was tapped to provide the offense, and he delivered.
LPU Positives :
- Despite the size disadvantage, the Pirates stayed even, getting 48 rebounds like the Knights, They even got more offensive rebounds, 26 to 22, leading to a sizable advantage in second-chance points, 19 to 9.
- With the starters clearly struggling, it was the Lyceum bench that took charge, as their top four scorers were all reserves, and each scored in double-figures, led by Vence Laude's 14.
- The Allan Santos saga was a nice feel-good story at the beginning of the season, as the former Falcon tore up the league with multiple double-doubles. But as time moved on, his numbers steadily declined, despite a short stint as a starter. After playing just four minutes in their last assignment, Santos found himself "indefinitely suspended" according to LPU Mancom, due supposedly to "unsettling" performances in past games.
- For the second time in three games, the Pirates could not get out and run, scoring 0 transition points in five opportunities.
CSJL Positives :
- Raymond Almazan got back on track, hauling down 14 rebounds and blocking two shots in 22 minutes. This after three straight games for just single-digit caroms.
- The Knights limited Chris Cayabyab to just 3 of 13 shooting for nine points, while also forcing him into seven turnovers. Cayabyab also wasn't able to finish the game again, fouling out early in the fourth.
- 33 fouls is pretty excessive, considering how Lyceum doesn't contain any big man threats you'd rather put on the line instead of giving up an easy score. Some of those come from the pressure defense, put there were also a couple of useless whistle-bait moves as well, and given Letran's reputation, for sure the refs are gonna call those.
SSCR 86 - CSB 70
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Player of the Game : Ian Sangalang stood head and shoulders above the other players, literally and figuratively, finishing with 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. More importantly, of the "Big Three," he had the fewest turnovers with three.
SSCR Positives :
- The catalyst for San Sebastian's huge lead was the running game, as they got half of their 20 fastbreak points in the second quarter, when they were able to balloon the lead up to 21.
- Jovit Dela Cruz has quietly been putting up some great numbers in the second round, as the unofficial "garbage man" for the Pinatubo Trio. He's averaged 9.75 points on 43 percent shooting, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.25 assists in the last four games.
- As the match devolved into pick-up game with guys whizzing outlet passes back and forth, the Stags came up on the short end of that stick, committing 21 turnovers, 18 by the "Big Three." That's the sort of thing that frustrates head coach Topex Robinson.
- The other thing that gets Robinson's goat? Useless fouls, especially among his bench guys like Arwin Vitug (four fouls) and Krushev Ferrer (three). As a result, CSB got to the line 27 times, just six less than the Stags.
CSB Positives :
- The Blazers got balanced scoring from their three main scorers, Taha, Grey and Lastimosa. Taha scored 16, Grey had 15, while Lastimosa added 14.
- While not a pressing team or what-not, the Blazers were still able to capitalize on those 21 Stags turnovers, getting 27 turnover points from them and preventing a blowout of massive proportions.
- The big men of CSB seemed to come up short, combining for just 10 points and 12 rebounds. It's no wonder they got whalloped on the boards, 60 to 35, and 18 to 13 on the offensive glass, although to their credit, both sides scored just four second-chance points each.
NCAA Picking Record: 48-15-1