RONALD Pascual vows to return to his sweet-shooting ways when San Sebastian squares off with Arellano University on Thursday in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
The 24-year-old forward has been firing blanks the past two games, ironically, against lowly teams Emilio Aguinaldo College and Lyceum, shooting a combined 4-of-33 (12 percent) from the field.
The San Sebastian star blamed poor conditioning for his two off games that saw his scoring average dropped to 14.6 points.
But he promises to have a bounce-back game in their 4 p.m. meeting with the Chiefs which the Stags will need since their top star, Calvin Abueva, will be serving out a one-game suspension for hitting a Lyceum player with a closed fist.
“Gagawin ko ang best ko para manalo at para makabawi ako sa mga past two games ko,” Pascual said on Wednesday. “Medyo wala ako sa kundisyon noon pero bukas ready na ako.”
The Stags are knotted at second place with Jose Rizal University with an 8-3 (win-loss) record.
Despite Pascual missing all of his 12 shots against Lyceum, the Stags still defeated the Pirates by double digits, 83-75, last Thursday. And they are expected to come up with the same result against another bottom-half squad in the Chiefs.
The Chiefs, who tote a 4-7 win-loss card, are coming off a surprising blowout defeat at the hands of Emilio Aguinaldo College, 57-76, last Saturday.
Facing a much tougher task in the Stags, Arellano coach Koy Banal said his team should give importance to every possession to have a chance for an upset.
“The plan is not to worry about the outcome of the game. We want to play SSC possession by possession.”
In the second game, struggling teams Lyceum and College of St. Benilde collide at 6 p.m.
The Blazers, who are on a four-game losing streak for a 3-8 mark, hope to recover from a poor offensive showing in their 56-74 loss to defending champion San Beda last time.
Leading scorer Carlo Lastimosa was limited to just seven points against the Lions in their game where no Blazer scored in double digits.
The cellar-dwelling Pirates are even worse, having lost their last five games. They only have two wins to show in 11 outings.