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Player of the Game : With Arwin Azores stuck in a hospital, Mark Francisco got the nod to start, and the unheralded forward made the most of the opportunity, scoring 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting, to go with 18 rebounds and three blocks. Francisco is barely 6'3" in shoes, but he sure stood tall (*groan*) in this game.
The Numbers :
- Pirates head coach Bonnie Tan said that he decided to run in this game given their lack of players. Given their height disadvantage versus almost all the other teams (save for perhaps, CSB and Perpetual Help), I'm surprised they never thought of doing this earlier. Lyceum finished with season-highs in fastbreak points (25) and turnover points (26) as a result.
- Lyceum finished with just a single three-pointer for the second straight game, going 1 of 13 from beyond the arc. This is from the team that has hit the most triples in a game this season (12) and the only squad aside from Perpetual with multiple double-digit three-pointer games.
- EAC topped their previously set season-high for assists by getting one more dime than the 22 they tallied in the season opener. The x-factor? Shooter Jan Jamon somehow wound up with a career-high eight dimes. His previous high was four versus San Beda in their round two blowout.
- In the last 3:36 of the game, LPU went on a decisive 16-5 run to come out on top. They had lacked that ability to put away teams over their four-game losing streak.
- Joshua Torralba returned from a groin injury that kept him out of three games, but he was far from effective, scoring just four points on 2 of 10 shooting, though he also added two rebounds and three assists.
- Claude Cubo scored a career-high 29 points on 12 of 19 shooting, to go with a 5 of 6 stint at the freethrow line, nine rebounds and a block.
- Jolas Paguia also had a productive outing, with 10 points in 27 minutes, two triples, seven boards, two assists, a steal and a whopping four blocks.
- Shane Ko was steady as usual for the Pirates, scoring 11 on 5 of 8 shooting, but more importantly contributing five rebounds and a team-high five assists for Lyceum.
JRU 78 - CSB 63
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Player of the Game : I've never understood why JRU head coach Vergel Meneses messes around with John Montemayor and Ralph Monserat when he has Jeckster Apinan sitting on his bench. Well Apinan continues to put up some impressive sixth-man stats, leading all scorers in this match with 17 points (7/10 shooting), while also being the only player on both sides to get double-digit rebounds, with 10, five on the offensive end.
The Numbers :
- While the JRU pounce-on-turnover-and-score sequences were oftentimes more impressive looking and packed more punch, a peek at the stats actually shows that not only did both sides commit 22 turnovers, but CSB actually edged forward in the turnover points category by a point, 24-23.
- Where JRU actually made in-roads was in transition, usually via outlet pass to a streaking Heavy Bomber for an easy lay-in. In that regard, JRU had the advantage, scoring 15 fast break points to eight by CSB.
- St. Benilde went with a zone the entire game, feeling that they could not match-up with the JRU bigs. But aside from the aforementioned turnover and fast break points scenarios which allowed JRU to score before the zone was set up, the Heavy Bombers also dropped 7 of 21 triples.
- Another side effect of the zone was in fact, the big men having their way against the St. Benilde bigs. JRU got a 40 to 23 rebounding advantage, 17 to 6 on the offensive glass. Apinan's 10 rebounds and John Lopez's nine boards were dominant, especially in contrast to the fact that CSB's best rebounder had just four boards, while big men Jan Tan, Tim McCoy, Ian Dela Paz and Alison Carlos combined for...seven rebounds all in all.
- This was the first time all season CSB gave up 50 percent shooting, as all of JRU's easy scoring trips helped bloat their percentages.
The Other Names :
- The departure of Lastimosa did give Jonathan Grey and Paolo Taha a bump in minutes, to 27 and 28, respectively, but the biggest beneficiary turned out to be the forgotten homegrown rookie Michael Pate. Pate had appeared in just six other games prior to his start in this encounter, scoring a grand total of 10 points, but he was able to exceed that in just 22 minutes today, scoring 13 on 4 of 6 shooting.
- John Lopez also padded the stat sheet, aside from the aforementioned nine boards. The big man finished with nine points, three assists and two steals, also showing up his CSB counterparts.
NCAA Picking Record: 52-19-1