- Good things happen when the San Sebastian Stags involve Ian Sangalang in the offense. With the Red Lions having just two legit big men on their active roster (Kyle Pascual and Dave Marcelo), the NCAA runners-up went down low in the second and third quarters, similar to what they did versus Letran in the Luzon-Metro Manila regional finals. The results were of course, positive. Sangalang scored 16 of his 20 points in that 20-minute stretch, coinciding with the stretch when the Stags seized control of the game. Now if only they can remember to start going to him in the fourth quarter...
- By the same token, good things happen when San Sebastian becomes more than just the Big Three, like they were in this game. Jovit Dela Cruz made it four Stags in double-digits, finishing with 13. Anthony Del Rio bounced back from an invisible showing against Letran with eight points, six rebounds and five assists, six of those eight points coming off two big momentum saving triples in the fourth. And much-maligned big men Michael Miranda and Dexter Maiquez had some pretty productive outings as well.
- I wish Dave Marcelo had put the ball in his side's basket a bit more often (3/8 from the field, just one free throw attempt), but the NCAA Finals MVP did as best a job as he could in 29 minutes to stop San Sebastian from doing the same. The big guy got 10 rebounds and seven rejections in 29 minutes, a big deal, considering how he had just come from a PBA-DL game.
- I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the numerous near-fights and then the one actual fight towards the end of the game. A few unsportsmanlike fouls aside, the two teams came very close to being civil for the most part, until Kyle Pascual's forearm shiver turned Calvin Abueva into a whirling dervish that soon sucked in even people off the bench. Talk about giving the crowd what they wanted, right?
- With so many unavailable players, most notably Garvo Lanete, San Beda needed outside shooting to keep the defense honest. And while Melo Lim delivered, he was the only one, as Rome Dela Rosa, Mar Villahermosa and Baser Amer were a combined 3 of 12 from downtown, with the team shooting 6 of 20 overall.
- Ronald Pascual's injury was a gruesome one, landing on his left knee. Pascual had previously suffered an ACL injury, so when he heard a sound, he feared the worst. Odds are, no matter what the injury is, he's likely going to miss tomorrow's game versus Ateneo. If he's unlikely, he'll be missing a whole lot more.
- Head coach Topex Robinson's post-game comment about being aware that the team gets branded as "squatters" is remarkably self-aware, but his multiple apologies for not being able to control his players showed that he's a supremely classy guy.
- Su Daniel sat on the bench in street clothes. Asked before the game by Chris Soler if he would play in the PCCL, Daniel said he hoped so, and that he was being saved for "bigger games." Because Baste versus San Beda is a mere footnote, right?
PCCL 2011: SSCR vs SBC