Every win big as tight UAAP wars resume
MANILA, Philippines -- The UAAP is back.
After a two-week layoff that paved the way for the historic Gilas Pilipinas campaign in the FIBA Asia Championship, the UAAP returns with second round action expected to be as close as it can get as teams juggle for Final Four berths.
Far Eastern University (7-0)
Terrence Romeo - 22.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 40.4% FG shooting
RR Garcia - 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 39.4% FG shooting
Toting an unblemished record, the Tamaraws are playing seamless basketball thus far.
The squad is embracing the concept of playing as a team being inculcated by rookie head coach Nash Racela and for them to win it all, they should keep on doing what they have found success in doing in the first round — play as a team.
Leading MVP candidate Terrence Romeo is having a stellar season while getting ample help from former MVP RR Garcia while FEU’s other guys like Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy, Anthony Hargrove, Mac Belo and Gryann Mendoza have embraced their roles as well.
University of Santo Tomas (4-3)
Karim Abdul - 15.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.6 blocks, 43.0% FG shooting
Aljon Mariano - 12.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.9 steals, 42.4% FG shooting
Last year’s runner-up, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers finished the first round with a 4-3 record.
UST’s campaign in the second round will be based on how its skipper Jeric Teng will play after missing games in the first round after suffering a shoulder injury.
The Tigers should continue finding ways to win as different guys stepped up in the first round—Kevin Ferrer and Karim Abdul had their moments while Ed Daquioag proved the loss of Jeric Fortuna didn't mean death for the crew.
But it is Aljon Mariano, UST’s versatile forward, who needs to bring his A-game in the second round since he can make a lot of things happen for this team with his shooting, rebounding, intensity and leadership.
University of the East (4-3)
Roi Sumang - 19.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 37.0% FG shooting
Charles Mammie - 14.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 44.8% FG shooting
This UE team surprised many in the summer and is picking up where it left off.
Coach Boycie Zamar’s boys need to have other guys who will provide additional scoring outside its heart and soul, Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie.
The Red Warriors showed two different versions in the first round: the red-hot UE team who can beat the best of the best and one complacent Warriors squad, whose overconfidence has cost them some games.
The question now is: which UE team will we see in the next 7 outings?
National University (4-3)
Ray Parks - 18.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals, 29.3% FG shooting
Jean Mbe - 17.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 54.9% FG shooting
The Sampaloc-based dribblers were a picture of inconsistency in the first round and to resuscitate its title aspirations, they have to play 40 minutes of basketball and not wither in crunch time.
Ray Parks and Jean Mbe are no doubt the leaders of this team but their problem so far is closing out in end game and this need to be addressed as second round action unfurls.
Getting help from the underachieving Troy Rosario would be great, too, as NU attempts to salvage what was widely expected to be a campaign they would dominate.
De La Salle University (3-4)
Jeron Teng - 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 40.5% FG shooting
Arnold van Opstal - 11.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 1.0 blocks, 55.6% FG shooting
Like the Bulldogs, La Salle blew hot and cold in the first round.
The Taft five must have breakout games from their players who were missing in action in the first round—Norbert Torres, LA Revilla and even reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year Jeron Teng, who has struggled thus far.
The Green Archers need to also work on their free-throw shooting and ball-handling, as they have turned the ball over by an average of almost 17 times per game.
Ateneo de Manila University (3-4)
Kiefer Ravena - 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 31.4% FG shooting
Chris Newsome - 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 47.9% FG shooting
The defending 5-time champions are in desperate times as the second round begins.
Ateneo needs to run more because it is their strength and they lack big men who can play the post and also, bench players must take turns in giving the Blue and White additional firepower.
Kiefer Ravena should be fully healthy, too, by this time so expect the Blue Mamba to return to his devastating ways and team up with Chris Newsome and Ryan Buenafe to bring the Blue Eagles back into contention.
Adamson University (3-4)
Jericho Cruz - 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals. 40.0% FG shooting
Ingrid Sewa - 10.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 1.3 blocks, 61.9% FG shooting
Adamson has actually exceeded expectations so far in the tournament. But with a chance to nab a semifinal seat with the way the league has been close, the Soaring Falcons are tipped to go all out in the second half.
The season hosts should look on other options outside prolific wingman Jericho Cruz, Ingrid Sewa, and Rodney Brondial.
Roider Cabrera is providing some help but the likes of Ryan Monteclaro, Harry Petilos, Marc Agustin and the rest should step up as well.
University of the Philippines (0-7)
Sam Marata - 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.9 steals, 31.4% FG shooting
Raul Soyud - 8.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.3 blocks, 34.4% FG shooting
Still winless after the first round, UP, actually, is right there in the tick of the fight in most of their games but just runs out of gas in the end.
So to avoid another winless season, they have to play more aggressive, no let-up basketball for 40 minutes.
Better shot selection for Sam Marata and Henry Asilum would do wonders, too, as the Fighting Maroons hope to arrest what has been an alarming losing skid.
In the first game of the second round, Adamson University hopes to recover from a controversial setback it suffered at the hands of De La Salle University when the two teams collide at 1:30pm.
The Soaring Falcons clawed their way back from a 15-point deficit with more than just 5 minutes remaining, but their comeback fell short as Gian Abrigo was called for an unsportsmanlike foul with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game.
The Green Archers quickly took advantage of that and proved to be steady on the charity stripe as they arrested a losing skid at Adamson's expense.
But UAAP commissioner Chito Loyzaga decided the unsportsmanlike foul called by referee Francisco Olivar was uncalled for and promptly suspended the game official for 6 game days.
FEU hopes to keep streak intact
Meanwhile, the Tamaraws attempt to make it 8 in a row then they tackle the Bulldogs at 4:00pm.
Like La Salle, FEU also fended off a late comeback by NU in their first round meeting, needing a late burst from Romeo to survive a stiff challenge by the Bulldogs.
Expect a closer fight this time out, as Parks is hell-bent on getting revenge while also trying to chalk up another W for NU, who has relatively struggled with a 3-4 record. - Rappler.com