Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

UAAP S74 Quick Review (Part 2)

Mike Abasolo, Christian Soler, and Sid Ventura, the three scribes from inboundpass.com has finally come out with their respective analyses and predictions for the upcoming Season 74 of the UAAP.

Here’s a comparison of their predictions, as well as my prediction for the standings among the 8 teams after 14 games:

Christian Soler:
1. Ateneo de Manila University
2. Far Eastern University
3. De La Salle University
4. Adamson University
5. National University
6. University of Santo Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

Sid Ventura:
1. Ateneo de Manila University
2. De La Salle University
3. Far Eastern University
4. Adamson University
5. National University
6. University of Sto. Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

Mike Abasolo:
1. Ateneo de Manila University
2. Far Eastern University
3. Adamson University
4. De La Salle University
5. National University
6. University of Santo Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

RC Cayanan:
1. Ateneo De Manila University
2. Adamson University
3. Far Eastern University
4. De La Salle University
5. National University
6. University of Sto. Tomas
7. University of the Philippines
8. University of the East

Our top one team and the bottom four team predictions are all exactly the same. When it comes to the three other teams–DLSU, FEU, and AdU–our predictions slightly differ. But I see no reason to change my forecasts. I’m quite satisfied with my own analysis on how the eight UAAP teams will end up by the end of the regular season.

Now, it’s time to give my analysis for each of the teams, starting from my predicted top one team, all the way to the eighth:

1. Ateneo De Manila University

Eric Salamat and Ryan Buenafe’s departure from the team will hardly be felt in a team with perhaps the most sensational incoming rookies among the UAAP teams. The trio of Kiefer Ravena, Gwyne Capacio and Greg Slaughter will be the constant source of headache for the seven other teams who have yet to solve the solidness that is Ateneo. The veteran presence of Kirk Long, Emman Monfort, Bacon Austria and Nico Salva will be the guiding light for the team’s fine rookie class when it comes to figuring out coach Norman Black’s time-tested system. Inserting the three rookies into the mainline starting scheme of the team is something Black will be very confident with. After cruising through their pre-season tourneys, you can shelf the chemistry issue. One thing for sure–they’ll be probably holding on to another year of bragging rights as a champion.

2. Adamson University

I have my reasons for saying that the Soaring Falcons will be team trailing the Blue Eagles at second. Sure, FEU has a relatively intact roster, and not to mention Bert Flores’ comeback. And sure, DLSU only lost four players, and has the most intact starting set, with their entire first five back from last season. But, I’ll give this to Adamson, simply because their starting five is just as intact as La Salle’s, losing only Michael Gallinato, who was relatively silent last year. Add to this their coach, Leo Austria, who’s been at the helm for the fourth straight system. If there’s any best time to contend for the Finals, now is that time for the Falcons.

3. Far Eastern University

Last year’s heartbreak team turns a new leaf with the return of Bert Flores, the last tactician to lead FEU to the promised land. Expect the team to adapt a winning system that saw the likes of Arwind Santos flourish and develop. Their first five from last year is still solid, which includes of course the reigning MVP RR Garcia. The only glitch in the team could be Pipo Noundou’s missing a few games due to a torn Achilles. JR Cawaling, Aldrech Ramos and Jens Knuttel will be the veteran star power of the team. But it will probably take some time before the old timers and their incoming rookies finally gel into one cohesive unit. When that day comes, FEU can finally exorcise the demons of their past defeats.

4. De La Salle University

Okay, so La Salle lost only four players from last season, gained a relatively unheralded set of rookies, kept intact their five on the floor, and, of course, has Dindo Pumaren. But that means they don’t have to go through a lot of modifications, which makes adjustments not a natural part of their system. The changes FEU and Adamson has gone through will require La Salle to make the necessary adjustments, but that is if the urgency would push them to do so. The first games will not do this purpose for La Salle. But, once the ball is finally running, La Salle will be expected to step in big time.

(continues next edition.)

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