SLR 99, MBM 77

On: 07 January 2008

PBA Phil CupAfter a 99-77 rout of the Magnolia Beverage Masters last night, the Sta. Lucia Realtors stretched their searing run to a franchise-record seven games and assured themselves of a playoff crack at the second outright semifinals seat in the 2007-08 Smart PBA Philippine Cup.

Despite losing Ryan Reyes at the start of the last quarter after he sustained a hit on the jaw from Dorian Peña, the Realtors found that Marlou Aquino was willing to take the cudgels from the fallen comrade by scoring 19 points, grabbing 7 rebounds a conference-high tying 5 blocked shots. However, Aquino’s efforts cannot be singled out as the reason behind the win because, looking at the numbers last night, the Realtors are proving that they are capable of dominating the major facets of the game.

Rebounding Might

In the last three games of the Realtors, the team showed that they are capable of churning at least 50 rebounds per game. The Realtors grabbed 55 rebounds against talk N. Text, 56 rebounds against Welcoat and 57 rebounds last night. These numbers clearly shows that the team has not clearly realized that controlling the boards is one way to ensure that they control the tempo of the game. Leading that department in the last three games are sensational rookie Ryan Reyes with 10 rpg and perennial all-star player Kelly Williams with 14.7 rpg. Last night was no different for Williams who had a career-high 18 rebounds.

50 Percent 2-Pt FG

Last night was only the fifth time in 17 games that the Realtors average more than 50percent from the 2-point area, but the fourth time in just a month. This means that since 9 December 2007 in a game against Ginebra where they averaged 53.3 percent from the 2-point region, the Realtors are sinking 50.2 percent of their shots from that area. This can be attributed to better ball-distribution and good shot-selection.

Lady Luck on Free-Throws

It certainly helped the Realtors’ cause that the Beverage Masters can only manage to sink 48.6 percent of their shots from the line, sinking 17 out of 35 shots, while they themselves managed to shoot a respectable 70.6 percent. This is a far cry from the 63.7 shooting percentage from the stripe in all their 6 losses. Leading the Realtors in this area in all 17 games are Paolo Mendoza with 91.67 percent followed by Norman Gonzalez with 84.73 percent and Dennis Espino with 77.6 percent. Williams, who is the most fouled player in the team, really needs to further improve his free-throw shooting percentage as he can only manage a measly 49.0 percent from the line.

Offsetting the Turnovers

This is the fifth time that the Realtors committed more than 19 turnovers in a game. In three of those games, the Realtors lost. Only in last night’s game and in a game against Talk N’ Txt Phone Pals last 28 October 2007 where the Realtors committed 19 and 20 turnovers respectively, but still managed to secure a win.

However, unlike the Talk N’ Text game where their opponents committed more than 31 turnovers, the Beverage Masters managed to turn the ball over only 22 times. In last night’s game though, the Realtors errors were offset by more rebounds, 57 as against 56, and by stealing the ball 6 times as against 4 by the Beverage Masters. However, the most glairing difference are the hustle plays of the Realtors which compelled them to commit 27 fouls as against 22 and make 20 assists compared to only 14 by their opponents.

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