UAAP Season 71 First Round Review


UAAP Season 70 1st Round Standings

ADMU Blue Eagles (6-1)
DLSU Green Archers (5-2)
FEU Tamaraws (5-2)
UE Red Warriors (4-3)
UST Growling Tigers (3-4)
UP Fighting Maroons (2-5)
Adamson Falcons (2-5)
NU Bulldogs (1-6)

*****

ADMU Blue Eagles (6-1)
Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles is obviously the strongest team this season. Before this season started, Ateneo managed to win the prestigious Nike Summer League crown against fellow UAAP team University of the East Red Warriors and just failing to advance in FilOil-Flying V’s Final Four with an upset loss to Adamson Falcons. Ateneo is bannered by the returning court heartthrob Chris Tiu and some holdovers from last season like Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Nonoy Baclao, Eric Salamat, Jai Reyes and Kirk Long. After a rugged first eight games of the season, Al-Hussaini is just a hairline away from UST’s Jervy Cruz in the Most Valuable Player statistical ladder. Ateneo opened their season on a big win over their archrivals De La Salle University. Series of wins from a perennial cellar dweller Adamson, season 70 runner up UE, annihilation of last season’s winless UP and erratic NU, instantly pushed them from the top. Blue chip rookie Ryan Buenafe already showed what the real hype is talking about, just striding along the defense of the much bigger defenders. Gone are the superstar defenders Zion Laterre and Ken Barracoso, but infused to the team is the promising white import Vince Burke and comeback kid from team B, Jobe Nkemakolam. ADMU snapped their winning streak when they faced FEU Tamaraws, but if not for Chris Tiu’s indecisiveness on the end game (shooting ill advised threes while FEU’s lead is only one with middle range dependables like Baclao and Buenafe on the floor), they could have easily won it. Their last game versus UST is still close, but the depth of its lineup is really a marginal advantage among the other UAAP teams. Ateneo will face the team that gave them their lone defeat as their first second round game on August 9. Norman Black’s goal is to be the champions this year in hopes of extending his expiring contract. They will remain strong this second round and I’m already reserving a finals ticket for this team. Courtside reporter Vanna Lim is now the student manager, leaving the job to Kamae De Jesus and Portia Silva which I think is their “lucky charms” for this season. Kamae is such a cutie and the best among the new batch of season 71 reporters, although she’ll be present only in the weekend Ateneo games.

DLSU Green Archers (5-2)
De La Salle University Green Archers is the the last season champs having only one goal in mind this season — back-to-back championships. Their pre-season was also outstanding as they finish the FilOil-Flying V tournament on third place haplessly beating Adamson, and a good top four finish in the Nike Summer League, bowing to this year’s champ Ateneo and just falling short for the finals. La Salle is back with JV Casio, Rico Maierhofer, James Mangahas, Simon Atkins, PJ Walsham, Bader Malabes and PJ Barua but missing the services of TY Tang. New blood of Green Archers consists of a De La Salle Zobel Bengal in Josh Webb, UP Junior Maroon Maui Villanueva and San Beda Red Cub in LA Revilla. Tang maybe gone, but Casio, Malabes and Barua are now deadly outside the three point line, with the Revilla who is outstanding playmaker that could slash inside despite his size. DLSU started this season with a loss over archrival Ateneo, with Casio’s jittery start just buckling in crunch time. Controversy sparked on DLSU coach Franz Pumaren’s non-wearing of his UAAP ID which slapped him an immediate technical foul, with UST’s coach Pido Jarencio running away with the same violation without a penalty. La Salle surged to straight five wins versus FEU, UST, NU, Adamson and UP. However, the season 70 finalists first meet was won by UE as DLSU was saddled by injuries of Atkins, Batricevic, Mangahas and Maierhofer. Revenge will be sweet and payback time is just five days away as they open their second round versus UE on Thursday. Incidentally, DLSU had the same 5-2 record last year where they finished the season bringing home the championship trophy. I expect DLSU to remain in top four as the season ends, even without Franz Pumaren’s guidance as he will be living to call the shots for the RP Youth team. Batricevic, which is almost a non-factor, will end his season sitting on the bench re-injuring his ACL injury. A finals matchup against Ateneo with DLSU bringing home their second straight championship is a good season ender, much alike from last year when they zapped undefeated UE in the finals. Sharon Yu is back on DLSU courtside and she’s really getting better and better on her reports and her overall personality. Shar remains to be the top favorite this season, and of course, the number one in my list.

FEU Tamaraws (5-2)
Far Eastern University Tamaraws’ newly revamped lineup from last season proved effective this season as they match DLSU with a 5-2 card on the end of first round. Jonathan Fernandez and Marlon Adolfo will play their final UAAP season, but the young blood in Reil Cervantes, Aldrech Ramos, Paul Sanga, Jens Knuttel, rookie of the year awardee JR Cawaling and new FEU king tamaraw Andy Barocca. FEU almost dropped a season opener on the first game of season 71 versus Adamson, thanks to Jens Knuttel’s clutch three which shifted the momentum and the win to them with few ticks left. FEU dropped their second game assignment in a controversial manner to DLSU. Easy win for UP and a close upset over season 69 champs UST showed bright chances from the Morayta-based school on a fruitful year. Suddenly, I was texted by a FEU friend and confidante after a few hours that an accident happened to Marnel “Mac-Mac” Baracael. He was gunned down by an identified gunman that put to an end to his UAAP’s last season on bedrest. With the morale on a record level high, the FEU Tamaraws trounced the previously unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles. FEU fought a neck-to-neck battle to the season 70 runner-up UE for their four their fourth win, featuring Barocca’s heroics for the second straight game. Robert Kave, just completing his two year residency, decided to return home at Papua New Guinea with an advice from his parents after a traumatic experience which he have witnessed first hand on his teammate’s shooting. The supposedly lopsided first round ender versus NU Bulldogs was decided under two minutes, with the previously winless NU handing the second loss to FEU, costing them the solo first place advantage. The loss of Baracael and Kave will be a fatal blow in FEU’s head coach Glenn Capacio’s rotation. Sanga and Cawaling is not playing their usual games they displayed consistently all season long last year but Cervantes and Ramos are stepping up big time. With very close wins over UST, UE, Ateneo and even Adamson, I expect FEU to go down for a few steps from their current standing. Courtside reporter Andi Manzano left the Andi-ks that will just turn to Krystel Filart, who’s doing very well on her first eight games.

UE Red Warriors (4-3)
University of the East was the most affected team this season due to player departures, but the team’s heart and desire to win is just pulling them ahead of the standings. Marcy Arellano will be back to lead the warrior tribe joined by Elmer Espiritu, Hans Thiele, James Martinez, Pari Llagas, Paul Lee, Rudy Lingganay and Fhadz Bandaying. New faces including former RP team head coach Boysie Zamar’s son Paul Zamar will add up to the shooter-laden team. The last year’s undefeated team in 14 games that was just denied by DLSU for the UAAP season 70 title in two games, had a good start winning their season opener versus UST and their second assignment NU. They was just denied to start 3-0 by the much stronger Ateneo, worse, their team was plagued by an epidemic which they got on their players quarters. An unknown sickness struck players Paul Lee, Pari Llagas, Gino Etrone and Lucas Tagarda which was later found out as dengue fever. UE had their most heartbreaking loss this season versus Adamson, and the undermanned team that was hurt by illness seemed to be not psychologically well that game. The thrashing of UP brought back the winning hopes for the team and concluding the first season with a win over defending champs DLSU obviously woke up the Red Warriors. UE is still a strong team but the exodus of Mark Borboran, Kelvin Gregorio, Mark Fampulme and Jorel Cañizares really made this team different this season. Espiritu and Thiele are natural and effective small forwards forcing to play the five position due to lack of backups for Llagas. The blessing for the team is Martinez is still the deadliest guy on the three point area in UAAP, with Bandaying slowly developing that arsenal. Zamar is a veteran hiding in a rookie’s shell. I expect UE to be strong this season but entering the Final Four will be a struggle for this team. Arellano surprisingly dropped his superstar statistics from last season and he really needs to be the hero game after game if he really wants to have a trip back to the elusive UAAP finals. Courtside reporter Tracy Abad ended her stint as a 14-0 lucky charm that backpedaled to 0-2 in her first and last finals appearance. Alexis Go is now doing the job for the Red Warriors, but sadly, Tracy will be surely missed as one of the best loved courtside reporters of all time.

UST Growling Tigers (3-4)
University of Santo Tomas is the strongest team that has been struggling for their first seven games. UAAP MVP Jervy Cruz is still the king of the tiger pack of Dylan Ababou, Japs Cuan, Mark Canlas, Francis Allera, Khasim Mirza and Chester Taylor. A prized catch from Zobel of the rookie point guard Jeric Fortuna showed a good future of the team, with three point sniper Clark Bautista and young giant Allen Maliksi. UST had a see-saw first round losing closely to UE on their first game then the playground practice win from UP. DLSU and FEU proved to be stronger than UST, and the injury that dealt with their star point guard Cuan is not doing good either. Luckily, Bautista sank a last second trey that extended their game versus Adamson with extra five minutes, and successfully beaten the Falcons. UST was crushed by Ateneo on their final game at the first round, but did well despite falling short for the endgame push. UST is struggling because even the leading MVP candidate Cruz is starting to feel that he’s been checked by most of the teams this season inside the paint, now opting to pile up points in perimeter shots that was not his bread and butter. Cruz just started to erupt his numbers on the latter part of the first round, but Ababou was just their most consistent anchor on their first games. Mirza is just recovering from an injury and suspension, that will add scoring options to the team. Cuan have already recovered from the meniscus tear but this guy will just steal minutes from the shoot anywhere Fortuna, that may pose a problem whenever UST needs a lot of offensive power. Taylor is still not doing any good and Gile seemed to be a robot on court that badly needs oiling. The season 69 champs will fall short to Final Four this season, and the championship hopes is out of hand. Back from the sidelines is the morena courtside reporter Dianne Querrer.

UP Fighting Maroons (2-5)
University of the Philippines is the season 71 hosts that is trying to shrug off a miserable 0-14 record last year. Woody Co is still the top Maroon being supported by Martin Reyes, Mark Lopez, Magi Sison, Andrew Marfori, Jay Agbayani, Mike Gamboa and Migs De Asis. UP is still the weakest team on paper but is still on the hunt for a Final Four position. The loss of controversial top rookie last year Soc Rivera paved way for the activation of behemoth Kevin Astorga. The Fighting Maroons started the season 1-0 through a big blowout over NU. It seemed that UP is going nowhere after six games, but a shocking surprise win over the Adamson Falcons to end the first round really showed improvement this season. Aboy Castro is now the head coach this season replacing the 80’s UAAP champion coach Joe Lipa. UP is just another cellar dweller team to be happy this season, regardless of the season’s outcome. This team is naturally talented, but is just too young and inexperienced to have a consistency needed for a Final Four team. Migs De Asis needs to repossess his shooting on his DLSZ years, surprisingly on his worst this season. Former child host Patricia Ann Roque is now doing the reports for the newly energized UP Maroons.

Adamson Falcons (2-5)
Adamson University played a dark horse UAAP team since summer, but never made up to par this first round. The Falcons placed fourth on FilOil-Flying V and just a win short at Nike Summer League’s Final Four, with a surprising wins over perennial UAAP contenders in DLSU, ADMU and FEU. Coach Leo Austria is back on San Marcelino and replaced Bogs Adornado in hopes for a Final Four drive once again, but with new and younger players. Marc Agustin have suited up for his final year, finally recovering from his ACL injury. Paul Dhanru Gonzalgo will be guiding the Falcon’s troop of Jan Julius Colina, Jerick Cañada, Allan Santos, Lester Alvarez and the new sophomore center Michael Galinato. Patrick Cabahug and Roel Hugnatan already spent their final year last season, while Leo Canuday is spared from this season for his elbow injury’s full recovery. Adamson started the season with an almost opening day win that was spoiled by FEU’s Jens Knuttel, with Galinato registering the first double-double of season 71. Galinato was silenced on the Falcons’ second game versus Ateneo, receiving two quick fouls on the opening minute dropping the game in a big margin. Agustin had a game high 25 points against NU which opened the winning column for the Falcons this season. Adamson also handed the upset to UE, leading as much as 15 points on the second half, with Gonzalgo drilling the game winning three. Three game losing skid ended the first round for the overly hyped team on pre-season with a close defeat over DLSU, a heartbreaking overtime loss on UST and an endgame collapse on the seemingly easy opponent UP. The Falcons are on a brink of losing the chance of the Final Four spot, but the losses against UP, UST and FEU are winnable. Cañada, together with the rookies Alex Nuyles and Janus Lozada already showed the depth of scoring of the not so much publicized team, and may threaten most of the teams on the second round. The interior defense of this team is really evident from every game. Sadly, only Colina is showing consistency on the team while the others are not really pumped up to shine on statistics every game. Adamson will be finishing safely on sixth this season, and a rank higher will be special. Aaron Atayde is still the lone male courtside reporter whose doing sports commentator level reports every game.

NU Bulldogs (1-6)
National University is the eight placers this first round, but their game-to-game performance are not really reflecting on their win-loss card. Streak shooter Jonathan Fernandez is already finished with UAAP, but Edwin Asoro is still in command for the Bulldogs. Joining Asoro are last season reliables Raymond Aguilar, Jonathan Jahnke, Jewel Ponferrada, Michael Luy and Chris Catamora. NU lost to a streaking UP on their first game, and continually dropped almost all of their games in tight contest. A shocking upset to FEU was their gift for the supposed to be first placers after the first round, with Jewel Ponferrada as their precious gem that game. Watch out for the rookie Jessey Garcia, I can feel that he’s being programmed to be a Fernandez protoype. With the acquisition of the university by business tycoon and SM’s founder Henry Sy, the team already hired the services of popular amateur basketball mentor Junel Baculi on their stable. A 400 million pesos sports complex is also on the rise next season at their campus and a black import is currently on residency will make this team in contention for seasons to come. NU is still an average team but their first round games’ performance is not showing on their current standing now, but is justified on how they won over FEU, and close games over Ateneo and UE. A safe prediction will be on seventh place, and UP Maroons will remain on the bottom for the second straight season. Rizza Diaz is still on the Bulldogs huddle for her final year, and hoping that her adopted school will score big wins before she leaves.

Advertisements

~ by Joshua Tadena on August 7, 2008.

8 Responses to “UAAP Season 71 First Round Review”

  1. pls change the logo of UP.. that’s inaccurate =)

  2. Sorry gameboi, but I just copied the image from my last year’s season preview.

    Congrats to UP for great wins versus NU and Adamson this season. 🙂

  3. Oh, Thanks! Really interesting. Big ups!

  4. Josh, why is your write-up for UP the shortest? Hahahaha! Just kiddin :p And I agree with gameboi. Please use the UP Centennial Logo. 😀

  5. Greets! Really funny. Big ups!

  6. i love UP!

  7. hey!
    I made with photoshop glitter myspace banners.
    take a look at them:
    http://tinyurl.com/6zyjzt
    Thank you for your website 🙂 xxoxo

  8. Hmmm…not sure if I agree with your point of view.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: