Sunday, October 16, 2011

NCAA S87 F4 Preview: #1 SBC vs #4 JRU

History Lesson:
Aug. 10: San Beda 77- JRU 69 (recap)
Sept. 14: JRU 76 - San Beda 65 (recap)

How JRU could win: In their second-round match-up, the Heavy Bombers managed to conk out the machine-level efficiency of San Beda, holding them to a season-worst 12 assists. That led to the Red Lions scoring their nadir of the season, a puny 65 points, which is a big deal considering how this squad has broken the century mark three times this season. It didn't help that the normally productive bench unit of Coach Lim came up with just 21 points, the only time this year it's scored less than 31. With all of that in mind, it seems like JRU may want to try to let Garvo Lante try to beat them on his own (5 of 18 for 20 points in round two), while shutting down the rest of the team. That's certainly a risky proposition, but it may be a gamble worth taking, given how they're already the underdogs in this series.

JRU could use big games from:
  • John Lopez. The big man scored just eight points on 4/9 shooting in round one, but more than doubled his output in the rematch, 17 points on 10/17 shooting.
  • Nate Matute. JRU's designated sniper always seems to get open versus the San Beda defense, shredding them for 7 triples in 16 attempts versus the team.
  • Raycon Kabigting. Team captain was invisible in round one (eight minutes, 0 points, 0/1 from the field), but had a key role in game two off the bench (20 minutes, 13 points, 4/9 from the field).

How SBC could win: After a pitiful 1 for 11 outside shooting performance versus Lyceum, the defending champs have been shooting lights out, 40 percent to be exact, in the last three games. Combine that with their big man depth, and a concentrated effort to run more since that JRU loss (from nine fastbreak points to 16.71 in their last seven), and it's clear that taking down San Beda at this juncture is a daunting task. But the Red Lions' trick up their sleeves may just be giving the Bombers a taste of their own medicine. JRU forces a league-best 21.94 turnovers per game, but they themselves make a third-worst 20.89 miscues in each outing. And since JRU doesn't have the firepower that San Beda does, that could lead to a hole they can't climb out of.

SBC could use a big game from:
  • Garvo Lanete. San Beda's go-to guy had 23 points on 5 of 11 three-point shooting, 7 for 17 from the field, with five assists and two turnovers in round one. He scored 20 in round two, but needed a 3 for 10 from downtown, 5 for 18 field goal clip to get that, along with just a single dime and three errors. 
  • Dave Marcelo. Graduating big man is 8 of 10 from the field versus JRU, but in game one, he complemented his scoring with eight rebounds, five blocks and one turnover. In game two, he had just three boards, no blocks and five turnovers.
  • Anthony Semerad. The shooty big man is a mismatch for every team in the NCAA, but has played a grand total of seven minutes versus JRU this year because of injuries. In his last three games, he's normed 13.67 points, making half of his 14 triples, and is 12 for 17 from the line. 

Prediction: SBC Red Lions 

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