UAAP: The Top 3 performances of opening weekend

As fans get over their hangover from the dizzying and electric UAAP Season 75 opening weekend, here are Rappler's top 3 favorite moments.

MANILA, Philippines – As fans get over their hangover from the dizzying and electric UAAP Season 75 opening weekend, Rappler picks the top 3 moments that made us jump out of our seats, cheer extra loud and convinced us that this season will be one to remember.

Here’s our top 3. Let us know if you agree or have other moments in mind at the comments section below! (See more photos of the weekend here)

1. The RR Garcia-Terrence Romeo show

The most stirring win of opening weekend came from a duo a lot of people thought would not coexist well again this season. Sure, RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo did not display dazzling chemistry, but instead took turns in delivering the most telling blows on University of Santo Tomas.

The Season 73 MVP and Rookie of the Year combined for 17 of Far Eastern University’s 23 fourth-quarter points as they completed a gallant fightback against one of the strongest teams this year.

Romeo, who was jacking contested shots all game long, made up for his inefficiency by sparking a 7-0 run to start the final canto that trimmed what was a 10-point Growling Tigers lead to three.

Then Garcia took over from there, draining back-to-back three-pointers that energized the Tamaraws before finishing UST off with a breakaway layup that gave them the 73-72 win.

Remember, though, that it was Romeo guarding Tigers skipper Jeric Fortuna in the last play, the junior’s defense playing a role in forcing Fortuna into a turnover.

2. The NU Bulldogs party

The hosts of Season 75 could not have picked a better time to display their power and force, using opening day as a background in their 90-55 shellacking of hapless University of the East.

With reigning MVP Bobby Ray Parks facilitating the show, the Bulldogs were like hungry dogs preying on some Red Warriors, bringing back memories of their brutal 91-51 win over the same team last year.

NU looked a little slow at the start but got going after two consecutive treys by Parks as they uncorked a dreaded 25-4 run to take the game for good.

Not even the flashy and speedy Roi Sumang could stop the Bulldog onslaught, with Jeff Javillonar, and rookies Troy Rosario and Mark de Guzman also helping get the job done.

Parks would finish with a gaudy stat line of 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, three blocks and four steals, Javillonar erupted for a career-high 19 markers, and the rookie duo combined for 18 points.

We’ll have to wait for Sunday to know if these Bulldogs are for real, but with an explosive opening-day win, they have turned a lot of doubters into believers.

3. The Ateneo after the break attack

As usual, the four-time defending champions started slow, allowing Alex Nuyles to break through their supposedly air-tight defense as Adamson kept the game close in the first half.

But then the wheels of the Blue Eagles’ machine got going and the result was a Soaring Falcons side overran by a superior and more complete Ateneo squad.

Nico Salva went to work, Oping Sumalinog hit a trey and locked down on defense, Greg Slaughter pounded the rock inside, and the returning Ryan Buenafe made a statement by ramming through defenses and setting up teammates.

If you were expecting these Eagles to make highlight reel plays each time out, think again. This is a gritty, determined team who will find ways to win in any way they can.

Slaughter ended up with 17 points, 10 boards and four blocks while Nico Salva pounced on a number of fastbreak opportunities to finish with 14 and six rebounds. Buenafe and Sumalinog teamed up to post 12 points, nine boards, six assists, two blocks and two steals for Ateneo.

For coach Norman Black, it was a workmanlike effort from his boys. For the rest of the Eagles, it was just another day in the office. –