IN NUMBERS: UP vs UE – UAAP Season 81
MANILA, Philippines – The UP Fighting Maroons and the UE Red Warriors seem lost in the UAAP shuffle.
But both squads try to snap out of the funk as the Maroons and the Red Warriors clash at 4 pm on Sunday, October 21, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Warriors, despite acquiring the services of former Ateneo Blue Eaglets juniors champion coach Joe Silva, are still rock-bottom in the standings so far with a 1-7 win-loss record. They currently have the unfortunate distinction of having the worst offense, putting up just 68 points per game, while also having the worst defense, allowing 82.5 points per game from their opponents.
UE is also dead-last in team rebounds (40.4 per game), three-point percentage (21.2%) and points per 100 possessions (86.2 per game) while committing the most fouls (20.8 per game) and giving up the third-most turnovers (16 per game).
The Maroons, meanwhile, are hardly any better at sixth place with a 3-5 slate. While they are the best in the league in field goal percentage (42.5%), they counter that by being the undisputed worst from the free-throw line (55%), 7 percentage points below seventh-place FEU.
UP is also the league’s worst bench points producer (23.1 per game) as a direct consequence of its league-best starter points averages (52 per game).
Amid all these inconsistencies plaguing the two squads, both of them do have a single rallying point that they must lean on in order to start winning more.
Bright Akhuetie and Alvin Pasaol are currently the league’s first- and second-place frontrunners for the league MVP award after the departure of two-time winner Ben Mbala.
Akhuetie has been as good of a double-double beast as advertised since donning the maroon colors. In 8 games, he is currently the league leader in rebounding average with a staggering 14.8 boards a game while also being the fourth-best scorer with norms of 16.3 points per game.
What’s more surprising than these numbers, however, is the fact that the 6-foot-7 Nigerian center is also the fourth most prolific passer in the league with a 3.3 assists per game average, just below the 3.9 average of point guard teammate Jun Manzo.
Not to be outdone, Pasaol has also been a nightly double-double threat himself. He is by and large the best scorer in the entire UAAP with a scoring average of 23.5 points per game, beating out second-placer and Adamson sniper Jerrick Ahanmisi’s 18.2. He is also the fourth-best rebounder with an average of 11 boards per contest, 5 of them being on the offensive end.
Pasaol is no one-trick pony either, as he is currently the second-best steals leader with 1.5 swipes a game, just below UST veteran Marvin Lee’s 2 per game.
Both squads badly need a win to break their respective bottom-dwelling slumps. However, only one will prevail. It’s high time someone shows what being an MVP truly means. – Rappler.com