Game Notes

  1. I can’t believe I forgot to say this in the pregame article but the two Wednesday matchups were not only important for seeding in the Final Four, but also very important games for the MVP race. Going into the UP game, Romeo was behind by Parks by only a few statistical points (SP determines MVP). I am almost sure that whoever comes out of Wednesday with better stats (Romeo or Parks) would win MVP.
  2. Romeo was outstanding, finishing with 33 points, setting a new career high. This is even more crazy when you mention that he just set his previous career high of 32 points in last Saturday’s game vs. Adamson.
  3. FEU pretty much had a pretty sizeable lead the whole game against UP and were just on another level.
  4. What is up with those lane violations? Probably the most lane violations in a game I’ve seen in my life.
  5. One weird thing I’ve noticed: Romeo doesn’t dribble on his free throw attempts.
  6. Raul Soyud had one of those rare sequences that you almost never see in basketball, piling up four offensive rebounds in a couple of seconds.
  7. Funny moment in the end when Lee Yu was going to shoot a three but Nash Racela grabbed him so that he wouldn’t shoot and instead he just waited for time to run out.

Keys to the game

Guard the Perimeter

The FEU defense did a solid job, but Marata just had one of those hot scoring outputs. He finished with 23 points shooting 4/9 (44.4%) from three. Apart from Marata, they pretty much kept everyone else in check. The defense could’ve probably done a better job on Marata but they did enough to get a win.

Get the Rebounds

FEU won the rebounding battle! But, they won it only by one rebound, 50-49. The UP bigs were working hard and at times even outhustled the FEU bigs. Both teams were fighting for rebounds which explains the close deficit. In the end, the rebounding effort was enough for the Tamaraws to get the win.

Romeo must live
Romeo shoots over the UP defense. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News)

Romeo shoots over the UP defense. (Photo Credit: KC Cruz, GMA News)

FEU is now 9-0 when Romeo scores 20 or more, or if Romeo shoots higher than 30% from the field. Romeo was spectacular once again scoring 33 points on 47.83% shooting.

MVP Race

Terrence Romeo. (Photo Credit: Marlon Bernabe, Burnsports)

Terrence Romeo. (Photo Credit: Marlon Bernabe, Burnsports)

Coming into the arena, I was aware both of the games that day were really important to the MVP race. Once you’re conscious to the fact that Romeo needed a big game today, you kind of noticed some things. Terrence Bill was extra aggressive vs. UP especially on rebounding and scoring. There were times when Romeo would smile after a shot attempt would go in because he wanted the rebound so bad. If there’s one thing that shocked me that day, it was Nash Racela putting Romeo back in the ball game at the 2:38 mark in the first with two fouls. They were also up 13-6 at that point. I have no other explanation for this except maybe coach Nash just wanted to help Terrence Bill win the MVP and that’s okay in my book.

Many people might have an issue with the stat-piling and whether or not its good basketball. For me, I don’t really mind in this case especially since Romeo says a lot of his motivation comes from his parents and that an MVP award would really make his dad proud.

During both ball games, I had an imaginary box score in my head, counting all the points, rebounds, assists and turnovers of Romeo and Parks. By the end of the 2nd game, I was thinking that Romeo had this MVP race locked down. Upon checking the stats, my theory was confirmed:  Romeo had overtaken Parks in the statistical point rankings.

As of 09/12/2013 Statistical Points
Terrence Romeo 75.29
Ray Parks 73.86
Karim Abdul 69.92

(SP computations may be subject to minor errors, not sure of Technical Fouls, Unsportsmanlike fouls and ejections.)

Then I talked myself into this: Abdul might still be in this race. Although, even if Abdul averaged 20ppg, 20rpg, 2apg, 2spg, 2bpg and 0 turnovers for the next two games, Romeo would still be MVP. Technically, Abdul winning the race is still a mathematical possibility, let’s wait and see.

The Final Four

FEU and NU are now at 10-4. For the FEU Tamaraws to get the twice to beat advantage, DLSU needs to lose vs. UST. If DLSU wins, FEU and DLSU will have to play another game for the right of twice to beat advantage, making it a virtual best of three. The Tamaraws probably have around 2-3 weeks ahead of them to prepare. It’s critical that the team works out its issues over the break. But nevertheless, congratulations to FEU for finishing the hard fought eliminations round with a 10-4 record!

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