Friday, September 9, 2011

UAAP S74: UP vs UE

History Lesson:
The UP Fighting Maroons bucked cramps to Mike Gamboa and Mike Silungan down the stretch, as Jelo Montecastro and Jett Manuel helped UP tally their first win in ages, 69-61, against the UE Red Warriors. Leding 39-31 at the half, the Maroons needed nine straight points from Manuel to maintain their lead at the closing of the third period. Though they would go scoreless for the final quarter's first five minutes, allowing UE to catch up, 61-55, the Maroons were able to hold on, as Gamboa came back to nail a clutch triple, securing the win for the squad that went 0-14 last season. (Recap here)

What's at Stake:
  • This is a battle to avoid winding up in the cellar, as both teams boast of identical 2-11 records. To the winner, 7th place. To the loser, last place.

UP Stat to Watch : The Maroons got a season-high 31 fastbreak points in a close loss to DLSU last week, after averaging just 7.25 in the rest of their second round games. Their previous high was 23, against this same UE team, so you can expect UP to want to get out and run again in this rematch.
UP Player to Watch : Alinko Mbah has been in a free-fall, as foul trouble has limited his effectiveness on the floor. The short and jump-shot happy UE team then ought to be a nice match-up so that he can end the season on a high note, though when they first met, all Mbah could put together was four rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes

UE Stat to Watch : UE has never repeated a starting five in the 13 games that they've played, and they've used some pretty bad ones, such as the Duran-Enguio-Montelibano-Chavez-Tagarda quintet that they used in round one versus UST that scored just two points, and the Javier-Flores-Chavez-Sabangan-Montelibano five that got eight points, all from Flores. It will be interesting to see if UE has finally found a decent starting five or if we'll see yet another random mishmash of players.
UE Player to Watch : Paul Zamar has been the man for UE all season long, averaging 12.8 points on 34 percent shooting, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. It would be nice to see him end his career on a high note, carrying his team to a victory.

Prediction: UP Fighting Maroons

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