UAAP Weekly wRap – UP stuns champions as UST freefalls anew

Player of the Week

Stud – Paul Desiderio, UP Fighting Maroons

This Week’s Performance – 1 game (1 win), 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 6/10 3PT

“Talagang makapal mukha naming dalawa.” (Paul Desiderio on Jun Manzo)

After 4 games, it seems that Paul Desiderio’s new hobby is collecting two things: quotable quotes and career-highs. After tallying a then-career-best 28 points on 5/9 threes against UE, the King Maroon hastily bested that against no less than the defending champion DLSU Green Archers, draining a new career-high 30 points on a 6/10 clip from downtown. Flanked by his inspired set of sweet-shooting teammates, Desiderio led the Maroons over a 98-87 upset over the seemingly unbeatable Archers. Really, there’s not much to say that hasn’t been said. It was a stellar performance on a dreamlike victory. Well deserved.

Meanwhile, had Ben Mbala and crew secured a win against UP, the Cameroonian shooter – you read that right – would’ve easily taken top honors with averages of 33 points and 11 rebounds on a grand total of 22/35 field goals (63%) and 6/12 from three (50%). He will remain the league’s biggest threat moving forward but for this week, he’ll have to settle as a runner-up.

Dud – Marvin Lee, UST Growling Tigers

This Week’s Performance – 2 games (2 losses), 3.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 5.5 TOs, 20% shooting

On the other hand, some captains are not doing so well, like UST’s Marvin Lee. Totaling just a triple 7 on points, rebounds and assists in 2 losses, Lee’s shooting has been sorely missed by the ice-cold Tigers, who have had three different players topscore in their 4 losses. A triple 7 looks great on a roulette, but this isn’t the casino. The fact that Lee is averaging more turnovers than the rest of his stats is just the rotten cherry on top.

With no other reliable scorer outside Jeepy Faundo, UST needs their captain back more than ever as they hope to salvage an otherwise rock-bottom season.

Team of the Week

Stud – UP Fighting Maroons (#2, 3-1)

This Week’s Performance – 1 win vs DLSU, 98 points, 11-point margin

Here it is, the upset of the season (so far).

In just one victory, the UP Fighting Maroons have achieved the following things:

- recorded 8 wins under Bo Perasol (10 losses), surpassing the Maroons’ win total from Seasons 73-78 (7 wins, 77 losses)

- ruined DLSU’s stepladder Final Four opportunity (a 14-0 record vaults a team straight to the finals)

- gave DLSU coach Aldin Ayo only his second regular season loss in his UAAP career (first being Ateneo)

- recorded their first win against a defending champion for the first time in a decade

Again, there's really not much left to say.

The Adamson Soaring Falcons come in second-best as they trumped fellow contender NU Bulldogs in a much-needed 83-76 victory. Both teams now enter a three-way 2-2 tie in the standings with the FEU Tamaraws.

Dud – UST Growling Tigers (#8, 0-4)

This Week’s Performace: 2 losses vs NU (94-84) and FEU (78-65), 75 PPG, outscored in the 4th quarter by a 12.5-point average margin

This week’s games could’ve been the once-mighty Tigers’ chances at redemption, but they just squandered those chances in identical fashion.

After being within one possession after the third quarter against both NU and FEU, UST let both opponents outscore them by double digits in the very last period. Expectedly, they lost both games, going still winless at 0-4.

Of course, with 10 games left to play, it’s not yet too late for a huge turnaround of fortunes – keyword being “huge.” It’s now or never, Tigers –