Saturday, September 3, 2011


History Lesson: 
After starting the season 0-2, the DLSU Green Archers desperately needed a win, and they got one against the UP Fighting Maroons, triumphing in a 79-67 blowout. Displaying a sense of urgency, the Archers came out to a 16-4 barrage, never letting UP taste the lead. The Maroons put up a fight early on, getting to within four points on a dunk by Alinko Mbah, and within three after a Mike Silungan triple, but Jarelan Tampus created some separation going into halftime, 36-29. One last-ditch fourth quarter run saw the Maroons throw out three straight layups, but Luigi Dela Paz played fireman and cooled UP down, returning a 20-point lead. Dela Paz led the green shirts with 14, while Mike Silungan's volume shooting garnered him 16 markers. (Recap here)

What's at Stake:
  • With UST's win over the Adamson Falcons, the 4-7 DLSU Green Archers are placed in an immensely difficult situation: any subsequent loss in their remaining three games kicks them out, as will any future Growling Tigers win. They haven't won yet in round two, but they snapped a two-game losing streak against this team in the first round. Are the Maroons' UP's slump busters? 
  • The 2-10 UP Fighting Maroons won't be returning to the Final Four this year, but at least they're going home with a pair of wins. If they can add to that total, especially with a win over DLSU, then what's not to like about this season for them?

DLSU Stat to Watch : After leading the league in the first half of the season in preventing opponents from getting offensive rebounds, the Green Archers have regressed horribly, becoming the worst in that category, a swing from allowing just 14.14 second chances, to 19.75. As a result, La Salle has gone from conceding 9.57 second-chance points to a league worst 12. Unluckily for them, the Fighting Maroons happen to be tops in second-chance points somehow in the second round. If they allow Alinko Mbah to get on track, La Salle may find itself dropping yet another game.
DLSU Player to Watch : Perhaps someone out there can explain why Jarelan Tampus has gone from averaging 17 minutes a game to 15.5, with 13 and 12 minute stints against UST and Ateneo, essentially must-win games. That cut in minutes obviously affected his scoring. He hasn't hit double-digit scoring in the second round, and when he came close with nine first half markers versus Ateneo, he wound up scoring 0 from that point on. The horrendous UP defense makes this a prime candidate for him to have a bounce-back game, but who knows? He could just as easily spend ten listless minutes on the court before riding the bench.

UP Stat to Watch : The Fighting Maroons are not a sloppy team, contrary to what some might think. They simply can't convert shots. When it comes to turnovers though, UP's actually only giving up 12.20 in the second round, best in the second round. In that same period, La Salle's been forcing 17.5 turnovers a game so we'll have to see which side asserts itself more.
UP Player to Watch : Jelo Montecastro is another member of the horrible regression club. After norming 9.29 points in the first half of the season with three double-digit scoring games to his name, he now has a second-round average of just four points, with nary a double-digit game in sight. Montecastro excels on the break, where he's a tremendous finisher, but he struggles in the half court, with an erratic jumper and no confidence to shoot from outside. If La Salle turns this into a run and gun affair, maybe this former Blazer can regain his groove.

Prediction: DLSU Green Archers

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