October 11, 2013

UST vs DLSU: Head-to-head stats

UST and La Salle (or, as Boom Gonzalez prefers it, "DEE-EL-ES-YOO", each and every damn time) have met each other four times. They'd meet for the fifth and final time in the UAAP this Saturday. These are the stats from those four meetings this year. These are not season stats, finals stats or elimination round stats, but stats from games that involved both teams.

(Stats c/o PBA-Online!)

As you can see, La Salle leads in every department that doesn't include percentages, save for blocks, which UST (very) marginally leads. Both teams are shooting very badly from the field: anything approaching 33% field goal shooting is terrible.

Three point shooting, on the other hand, while not as terrible, is still bad, challenging the 21% level. And UST leads there despite blanking from downtown in their first round game, which they incidentally won.

La Salle is showing its dominance in rebounding with a massive +11.5 margin. While their height advantage doesn't show in the blocks category (apparently their big men aren't adept shot blockers, at least vs. UST), one can argue that their size changed several shots from close range, which reflects upon UST's shooting clip. La Salle isn't shooting any better, but compensates by crashing the offensive boards. So while both teams are shooting badly, La Salle has the edge solely because they have more field goal (and free-throws, which aren't included here) attempts. UST's defense, while remarkably sturdy in the first DLSU attempt, expectedly deteriorates in DLSU's subsequent attempts.

Particularly concerning is UST's sub-10 assist average, which coincides with my conclusions of their offense having no flow at all (see link above). Coupled with more turnovers (or possessions that did not translate into shot attempts), it is quite clear to see why gamblers would put their money to La Salle.

They only way UST can compensate for crappy rebounding is by preventing La Salle to grab boards: that is, shoot at least with a decent clip. But since the paint is swarming with Bears and AVO , the only way to go is three point shooting. Unfortunately, UST doesn't have anyone with a 3-point shooting clip of above 33%, even 30% (unlike La Salle). (Note that those stats includes games involving other teams, which changes the outcome of the stats vs. when only UST and La Salle are concerned.)

Indeed, you'd probably conclude that UST are the heavy underdogs going in to Game 3, and it probably reflects on their #4 seeding. But while UST may have a tough time this Saturday, as long as they keep it close till the end, there's always a chance. Remember, the team that started well has kept the lead in the end. Starting, and finishing, will be of the utmost importance this Saturday.

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