Sunday, October 16, 2011

NCAA S87 F4 Preview: #2 SSCR vs #3 CSJL

History Lesson:
Jul. 20: San Sebastian 71 - Letran 62 (recap)
Sept. 30: Letran 82 - San Sebastian 81(OT) (recap)

How CSJL could win: An early 25-10 hole in the first meeting between these two teams gave Letran fits, as they ran out of time trying to eat into a lead which they were never able to overturn. The Knights played things closer in the second game, down 20-15, but tying things up at the half, before taking a small lead at the end of three quarters. The difference came down to tactics. Letran had 18 second-chance points (thanks to a 20 rebound edge on the offensive glass), to just nine by San Sebastian, with a tie in turnover points. Game two saw Letran go back to what they do best, with a 22-8 turnover point score, but a 17-8 deficit in second-chance points. Making the decision easier is the fact that the Stags turn it over 21.58 times, worst in the league.

CSJL could use big games from:
  • Kevin Alas. Letran's best scorer was sidelined with five fouls in round one, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Playing more in check in round two, Alas played all but five minutes, tallying 22 points, six rebounds and 10 assists in the win.
  • Franz Dysam. The Robin to Alas' Batman also played poorly, with a five point, two assist, one steal game in round one. That jumped up to 12 points, three assists and three steals in the rematch.

How SSCR could win: The Stags have a knack for starting strong, holding foes down to an average of just 31 points in the first half, thanks in part to shutting down the outside shot, just 25.32 percent allowed from outside the arc. Their second half defense is much weaker however, as their points allowed shoot up to 39.16. Thus it becomes imperative that San Sebastian start strong and construct a large enough lead to survive the second half, something their offense was unable to sustain versus San Beda in their last two matches. To do that, they need to get out and run. They norm 14.11 transition points but notched just 20 in two games versus the Red Lions, and haven't hit 20 points since CSB nearly a month ago.

SSCR could use a big game from:
  • Calvin Abueva. "The Beast" was miserable in round two, going 1 for 12 from the field, though he made up for it with a 14 for 15 stint at the line and 20 rebounds. For sure, he'll want to bounce back after that kind of a shooting night.
  • Ronald Pascual. San Sebastian's inside-out threat averages 40 percent from the field this season, but he hasn't gone over 40 percent in his last seven games, shooting just 31.71 percent in that time.
  • Ian Sangalang. The third-year center loves this match-up. He's averaged 22 points on 65.22 percent shooting, 16 rebounds and 3.5 blocks, as the Knights are often powerless to stop the big guy.

Prediction: SSCR Stags

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