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NO BONFIRE YET: The Maroons and Their Fight Against Mediocrity

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Last year, the UP Fighting Maroons lit up a bonfire at the Sunken Garden in celebration of their first win of the season, courtesy of the Adamson Falcons.

That was also their last win of the season.

Yesterday, the Maroons won their second game of the season, their first 2-0 record since ’05, their first back-to-back win since ’06, and their first win against La Salle since ’09.

So far, no one’s even lighting a match stick.

Which is GOOD, actually!

If the UP Fighting Maroons, and the community of their supporters, want to write their own history this season 78 of the UAAP, they will have to contend with something greater than the seven other schools of the league.

The culture of mediocrity.

Having lost all but four games in as many previous seasons, the Maroons have come to a point where a lone win for the season was so big a deal, it deserved a bonfire celebration. Not that the intentions behind the celebrations were wrong, but consider the fact that it was sending the wrong message–that it was okay to manage to get a single win against 13 losses, because for such an unfortunate bunch that has had to endure numerous winless seasons, avoiding a zero-fourteen record was quite an achievement already. Thus the impression that the goal wasn’t to win the entire season, but to simply win one for the entire season.

And why would not the Maroons’ followers settle for a lone victory? There was a season when the UP MBT flaunted the most intact, most veteran, and most polished line up in years. During that season, they have reached the three-year maturity period of the system their coach had set up and promised to finally deliver a Final Four appearance, the first since 1997. They even had the chance to train in the States that time. But even with all of that, not to mention the enormous support the team got from many sponsors as well, the Maroons kept on losing, fired their coach in the middle of the eliminations, brought in a champion coach from the pros, but still ended up unable to salvage the season, and eventually earning another winless season.

Questions popped up like mushrooms on a wet driftwood: What happened? Whose fault is it? Was it right to kick the coach out of the team? Does UP need a benefactor who will finance the rebuilding of the team? Did UP get jinxed?

Obviously these questions have no clear answers.

Out of nowhere a mindset sprang forth. It was then cultivated by the myriad of posts, comments, opinions (mine included) and articles written about that painful season. It didn’t take long before that mindset found its form in this statement…

“Manalo lang ang UP kahit isa, ok na!”

Well, there was really nothing wrong with wanting to win one game. But there’s something seriously wrong with wanting them to win JUST one game.

Whether some (not all, and surely not many) of UP’s followers are willing to admit the existence of this mindset or not, it is true. And the players themselves have voiced out their take about it.

“No, I am not ok with losing,” said new recruit Noah Webb. “When I came to UP, I heard people tell me ‘So you’re ok with losing?’ And I said ‘No, I am not ok with losing.'”

Team captain JR Gallarza also talked about their battle against mediocrity. “This season, we can’t just settle for one win and say ‘okay na yan, nakaisa na tayo.'” He also said that any plans of a bonfire will have to wait for when UP ultimately achieves their goal this season.

The goal? A final four appearance.

Now, hold your guns before you start shooting at new head coach Rensy Bajar for concocting the idea. It’s his own way of battling mediocrity.

“We have to believe that we can win. For years, guys have been entertaining the idea that one win is enough. That’s the culture we are trying to cure.

“I keep telling the guys that they must believe they can win. We keep on telling them that they can.”

So far, they have believed. And so far, they have won.

After defeating the UE Red Warriors on opening day 62-55, the Maroons pulled off a convincing 71-66 win over the DLSU Green Archers. For the first time in a decade, the Maroons have a spot on top of the standings with a 2-0 record, and for the first time in nine years, they won a back-to-back game.

And as of this writing, not a single firewood is being lit to start any small semblance of a bonfire to celebrate where UP is right now.

“We are hungry for more wins,” says the prodigal Maroon Jett Manuel, who led the charge in their recent vanquishing of the Taft-based ballers. “We are on a high right now, but we want more.”

For a team who’s been starving for a winning season, they will surely want more.

The closest they ever got to Final Four was in 2004 when they had a 7-7 record. That by far is UP’s best record of the elimination rounds in the last 18 years.

Right now, they have taken two games closer to their goal of taking a top four spot.

“That’s the ultimate goal right now… To have a spot in the final four this season,” according to Paul Desiderio, who is bringing with him his experience in the RP Youth Squad, along with Diego Dario.

Ten months ago, the Maroons were treated as bonus games for the other teams.

This time around, they are treated as threats.

The road to redemption is not easy, but it is not impossible either. The NU Bulldogs proved this last season when they won their first championship since half a century ago. And the guy at the helm of the Bulldogs is a Maroon himself, Eric Altamirano, who was part of the last UP Champion team of ’86, and the mentor of the UP squad that barged into the Final Four the last time in 1997. I’m sure looking from his vantage point as an opponent, he knows the boys from his alma mater are the hungriest in the league right now.

On Saturday, the Maroons will take on the UST Growling Tigers, who like them is on the top spot with a 2-0 record. The Espana ballers handed the heavily favored FEU Tamaraws their first defeat, 72-71. Once again the odds are seen to be against the Maroons on this game. The triumverate of Ed Daquioag, Kevin Ferrer and Karim Abdul are as dangerous a threat as one will ever encounter. By the end of their match, one team will emerge on top, while the other will be on the second spot.

By now you must be hearing statements like “O naka-dalawa na ang UP! For sure matatalo na yan sa USTe!” Or “Pag natalo UP sa Sabado, back to reality na tayo, guys.”

The coaching staff and players of the UP Fighting Maroons will not have any of those kind of banters. Their mind is set on one thing–nothing less than a win. And for the Maroons to keep on winning against their opponents, they will have to first defeat their own sense of mediocrity about themselves. Because a true giant slayer would never say “They’re too big to hit.” but rather “They’re too big to miss!”

If all things go well, UP will find its way back to the top half of the standings after 18 years, and a second championship after 29 years.

Until then, the bonfire will have to wait.

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TWO-ZERO: Maroons Up 2-0 For First Time in a Decade

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Photo courtesy of Josh Albelda/rappler.com

Jett Manuel went on hiatus for two seasons for two reasons: to keep his academics straight, and to retrain his basketball skills in the US.

Suiting up again for the UP Fighting Maroons this season, the veteran guard did not disappoint and proved that he was worth the wait as he led his team to a 71-66 victory over the De La Salle Green Archers.

This is the first time since 2005 that the Maroons are enjoying a 2-0 record in the start of the season, and the first since nine seasons ago that they have won a back-to-back game. Incidentally, again, it was also DLSU that was on the losing end of the ’05 second victory by the Diliman squad.

Manuel had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists to lead the Maroons, while Paul Desiderio and Pio Longa added 13 and 10 respectively to the collective effort of the squad which shot 41% from the floor and 32% from beyond the arc. The stats prove that the Maroons have shifted from a perimeter shooting team into a more defensive unit, as they also forced La Salle to commit 20 turnovers, and limit their snipers to a dismal 3-of-24 shooting clip.

For the Archers, Prince Rivero, Andrei Caracut and Jeron Teng combined for almost half of the entire output of the Taft ballers. Thomas Torres did not deliver with his shooting, and was corralled to only 8 points with a disappointing 2-for-12 shooting.

Coming into the second quarter with a 16-14 lead, the Maroons started clicking on all cylinders and ended the quarter with a comfortable lead, 41-28. The Archers started becoming the Archers again entering the fourth quarter, and came as close to within five points, but the Maroons proved they were a different beast this time as they managed to pull away courtesy of charity shots by Henry Asilum and Andrew Harris. An erroneous inbound pass to Jeron Teng proved to be a costly miscue that gave UP the chance to drive the nail into the coffin.

Coach Rensy Bajar and the coaching staff were once again praised for the composure and competitive spirit the Maroons displayed all throughout the game. The rookie head coach for the Maroons was quick to credit the total team effort of UP in this second straight victory, that has literally put them on the top of the standings, along with UST Growling Tigers, who just won over the FEU Tamaraws, 72-71.

The back-to-back win proves that the opening game win over UE was no fluke, and that UP is looking to write a history of their own this season.

While it is too early to tell how the season will unravel for the remainder of the first round, the Maroons are sure about one thing.

There’s nowhere to go but UP!


Can the Maroons Slay The Giants?

Can the underdog beat the big shots?

 

A lot will say yes.

 

So can the UP Fighting Maroons defeat the other teams come Round 2 of the UAAP?

 

A lot will say no.

 

But who cares about the “lot” anyway?

 

If you want answers ask these three guys:

 

Mikee Reyes. Mark Juruena. Moriah Gingerich.

 

The three most veteran players of the UP Fighting Maroons carry with them more than just the battle scars of past defeats. They’re not merely survivors of multiple winless seasons. And surely they’re not just the hapless victims of criticisms thrown against a team that perennially inhabits the cellar of the standings.

 

They are witnesses.

 

Witnesses of a time when the underdogs prevailed over the champs.

 

Flashback: UAAP Season 72. The Maroons were coming off a 3-11 record from last year. They endured a 0-14 record two years earlier. They were entering the season as losers of their last three games of the previous one.

 

A little bit fast-forward: the fourth game of the season. Guess who the Maroons were playing…

 

The Ateneo Blue Eagles.

 

And how much of a giant was Ateneo? Well, just the previous year they won their first championship under the tutelage of Norman Black. And on their roster were players like Rabeh Al-Husseini, Nonoy Baclao, Jai Reyes, Eric Salamat, and Chris Tiu. Coming into the game against UP, they haven’t lost for six straight games since last season. UP, on the other hand, had lost six straight.

 

The team on top of the food chain versus the bottom dweller–get the picture.

 

It seemed the Eagles would have its way against the Maroons.

 

As it turns out, UP would pull the biggest upset of that season.

 

Here’s a look back to that game:

 

 

But that didn’t end there. On that same season, UP outlasted the DLSU Green Archers. Mikee Reyes knows and remembers this game very well.

 

 

Together with their win over NU, UP won only 3 games that season. By reason of point differential, UP dropped to 8th spot that season. Ateneo won their back-to-back championship that season. La Salle was ousted of the Final Four for the first time in the Franz Pumaren era.

 

Just so you know, ADMU’s record was 13-1 that season. The one blemish they endured came from UP.

 

Just so you know, DLSU’s record was 5-9 that season. The one loss that cost them the Final Four slot came from UP.

 

That’s right. From the 8th seeded UP Fighting Maroons.

 

And Juruena, Reyes and Gingerich were there.

 

So if you ask them, they’d most definitely say yes.

 

That underdogs can slay giants


Ateneo Survives FEU in OT

(I’m supposed to be blogging only about UP’s games, but I just can’t help but hit the keyboards on my laptop and blog about this cringing collapse.)

The only thing more painful than an upset is a win that slipped away in overtime.

Almost heading out of the Araneta Center with a win over the defending champs, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in overtime, 74-67, for the opening salvo of the second round of UAAP Basketball.

Rookie phenom Kiefer Ravena became the late game hero in regulation time as he knocked down a trey that sent the game to overtime. There the defending champs did what they did not do in regulation, that is, control the game. For the rest of the four quarters the Eagles were playing catch up against the Tamaraws, who was bent on avenging their last loss to the same team during the first round. RR Garcia all of a sudden became RR Garcia, getting the important three-pointers draining down the net one after another to put the Tams ahead of the Eagles.

Unfortunately, the basketball gods seemed to frown on them, allowing Ravena a good look at the basket for a three that extended the tiff an extra five minutes. Coach Norman Black, ever the composed and scientific tactician that he is, drew up plays that helped the Blue Eagles clamp down on their opponents, and secure their eighth straight win in as many games.

FEU drops to 4-4.

Tomorrow, the DLSU Green Archers will try to secure their third place standing as they go up against the Adamson Soaring Falcons. UP and UST will have an immediate rematch as they face-off in game one of tomorrow’s double header, exactly a week since they met, with UST getting the better out of UP.


Calm Before the Storm: Previewing the UAAP S74 Second Round

Here are my takes on each of the eight UAAP teams, coming into the second round of action this season:

1. Ateneo Blue Eagles (7-0)

A perfect first round earns the defending champs an automatic target on their backs. But with the way things are going for Coach Norman Black and his hordes, maybe this is not yet the season a team with players not named Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter can stand up against Ateneo and give them a serious run for their money. If ever they will incur a loss this season, I’m thinking it will be the other avian on the school list–Adamson–that can do it. But, for now, all roads to their fourth straight championship are clear and without any serious obstruction.

2. Adamson Soaring Falcons (5-2)

The Falcons are playing the best basketball they’ve ever played since Leo Austria was gifted with a Ken Bono on the roster. They are predicted to be the team that can pull off a win over the Eagles, provided they do what they do best–hot shooting from beyond the arc, as well as quickness in the open court. For sure, they’ll be keeping a strong hold on second place by the end of the season. And I believe, as of now, they have the biggest chances of making it to the Finals against Ateneo.

3. FEU Tamaraws (4-3)

The Tamaraws, I believe, has the most to prove this season–that things will be better with Coach Bert Flores back at the helm; that they have exorcised finally the ghosts of controversies past, that they’re serious and prepared for a championship run, and that UP just fluked their way to upsetting them. A better second round will help the Tamaraws settle all of this once and for all. Otherwise, the waiting goes on for them.

4. DLSU Green Archers (4-3)

The Archers are making their way back into supremacy, but I’m thinking they’re not in a hurry, or that there’s really no need to right now. Coach Dindo Pumaren knows the work ethic needed to get the ultimate goal, but he’s patient enough to get to it at just the right pace and timing. LA Revilla, along with the veteran leadership of Atkins, Webb, Villanueva and Andrada, the Archers are good enough to contend in the playoffs, but it will take more than double of what they’re doing right now if they want to forge a face-off against Ateneo.

5. UST Growling Tigers (3-4)

Just trailing the upper half of the standings by one game, the Growling Tigers are proving to be one of the underrated teams that can seriously gun for the final four. The offensive firepower of UST has been working well, and Coach Pido Jarencio has been preaching defense to his players more than he’s ever given a sermon about. The two Jerics, Teng and Fortuna, combine for UST’s quick one-two punch, but these two assassins alone will not do the trick. Paolo Pe, Melo Afuang, Chris Camus and the rest of the gang must beef up on their defense if they want to oust one of the top four out of playoff contention.

6. NU Bulldogs (2-5)

That NU is now at number 6 is actually a surprise for most of the UAAP followers, considering how the top admin guys of the school chipped out a significant amount of resources to revamp their basketball program, including the hiring of bemedalled coach Eric Altamirano and the drafting of phenom Bobby Ray Parks. But instead of proving that their bite is fiercer than their bark, all the Bulldogs have proven so far is that it will take more than just one player to carry the load of winning games. We’ll see this second round if the ‘Dogs will be finally unleashed.

7. UP Fighting Maroons (2-5)

If anything’s for sure about UP, it’s that they’ve improved from last season–two wins already as opposed to a winless season last year. Add to the that the upset they pulled off against the FEU Tamaraws. But that’s precisely the very reason why UP’s losses are hurting more this season than any other. They’ve got what it takes, and they know what it takes to win, to quote coach Ricky Dandan. All that’s left is for them to DO WHAT IT TAKES. Forget about who’s the real go-to guy for the Maroons. We’re talking teamwork, this time around.

8. UE Red Warriors (1-6)

Some say it was luck. Others say it was heart. I say it’s a mix of both that gave UE the win over NU, to exorcise the ghost of a possible winless season for the Warriors. Still with no go-to guy from among his players, Coach Jerry Codinera will have to dig deeper into the heart and soul of his roster and come up with the antidote to their dry spell for this season. Paul Zamar will have to embrace his role as the veteran leader, and get guys like Zosa and Labing-isa respond accordingly.


UAAP Basketball: Round One Results

The La Salle Green Archers just survived a crazy rally by the UST Growling Tigers. Thus, this standings’ picture after the first round of action:

1. ADMU (7-0);

2. AdU (5-2);

3. FEU (4-3);

4. DLSU (4-3);

5. UST (3-4);

6. NU (2-5);

7. UP (2-5);

8. UE (1-6);

NU takes a higher standing over UP because of the point differentials it has had in losing games as against to UP. The last two games for UP were blow-out losses, costing the Maroons a slot at number 6.

I apologize for an earlier remark–second round is actually starting on Saturday already. NU and UE will face off for game one, while FEU and Ateneo will have a quick rematch on the second game.

The top four questions coming into the second round:

1. Will Ateneo remain unbeaten?

2. If Ateneo will be beaten, which team can best pull off a win?

3. Which of the bottom four teams will unseat one of the top four teams from play-off contention (notwithstanding the 4th and 5th spots)? and…

4. Who will be this season’s MVP and ROY?

Round two, coming up!


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.)


UAAP S74 Quick Review (Part 1)

Credits for this information goes out to inboundpass.com.

ADAMSON UNIVERSITY

AGUSTIN, Mike – F
ALVAREZ, Lester – G
BRONDIAL, Rodney – C
CABRERA, Roider – F
CAMSON, Eric – F
CAÑADA, Jerick – G
COLINA, Jan – F
ETRONE, Allen – G
LOZADA, Janus – F/G
MANUEL, Genesis – F
MANYARA, Austin – C
MONTECLARO, Ryan – G
NUYLES, Alex – G/F
OLALIA, Jeff – F
PETILOS, Harry – F
RIOS, Jansen – F

Head coach: AUSTRIA, Leo (5th season)

ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY

AUSTRIA, Bacon – G/F
CAPACIO, Gwyne – F
CHUA, Justin – C/F
CIPRIANO, Bon Jovi – G
ERRAM, JP – C
ESTRADA, Jeric – C
GOLLA, Frank – F
GONZAGA, Tonino – G/F
LONG, Kirk – G/F
MONFORT, Emman – G
PESSUMAL, Von – G
RAVENA, Kiefer – G
SALVA, Nico – F
SLAUGHTER, Greg – C
SUMALINOG, Oping – F
TIONGSON, Juami – G

Head coach: BLACK, Norman (7th season)

DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY

ANDRADA, Yutien – F
ATKINS, Simon – G
DE LA PAZ, Luigi – G
GOTLADERA, Ponso – C
MARATA, Joseph – F
MENDOZA, Jovet – F/C
PAREDES, Papot – F
REVILLA, LA – G
REYES, Martin – F
SARA, Roldan – G
TAMPUS, Jarelan – G
TORRES, Norbert – C/F
VAN OPSTAL, Arnold – C
VILLANUEVA, Maui – F
VOSOTROS, Almond – G
WEBB, Joshua – F

Head coach: PUMAREN, Dindo (2nd season with DLSU, 7th season overall)

FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY (provisional squad)

BRINGAS, Mark – F
CAWALING, JR – F
CRUZ, Carl Bryan – C/F
ESCOTO, Russel – F
EXCIMINIANO, Chris – G
FABIAN, AA – G
FORONDA, Clarence – C
GARCIA, RR – G
GUERRERO, Jolas – F
KNUTTEL, Jens – G
MENDOZA, Gryann – F
NOUNDOU, Pipo – F
POGOY, Roger – F
RAMOS, Aldrech – C
ROMEO, Terrence – G
SENTCHEU, Christian – C
TOLOMIA, Cris – G

Head coach: FLORES, Bert (3rd season)

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

ALOLINO, Angelo – G
CELDA, Reden – G
CELIZ, Robby – F
EMAN, Spencer – C
IGNACIO, Jul-Ashri – G/F
JAVILLONAR, Jeoff – F
KHOBUNTIN, Glenn – F
LABING-ISA, Cederick – G
MAGAT, Marion – C
MBE, Emmanuel – C
NEYPES, Kyle – F
PARKS, Bobby Ray – G/F
ROÑO, Robin – G
SINGH, Ajeet – G
TERSO, Joseph – G
VILLAMOR, Denice – F

Head coach: ALTAMIRANO, Eric (1st season with NU, 3rd season overall)

UNIVERSITY OF THE EAST

CASAJEROS, Lord – G
CHAVEZ, Von – G
DE LEON, RR – F/C
DURAN, Erwin – F
ENGUIO, Biboy – G/F
FLORES, Jairold – F
JAVIER, Chris – F/C
MONTELIBANO, Nico – F
NOBLE, JM – F
SABANGAN, Jessmar – G/F
SANTOS, Adrian – F
SUMANG, Roi – G
SUMIDO, Jay-ar – G
TAGARDA, Lucas – G
ZAMAR, Paul – G
ZOSA, BJ – G

Head coach: CODIÑERA, Jerry (1st season)

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

EVANGELISTA, Vergel – C
FORTU, Don – G
GAMBOA, Mike – G
GINGERICH, Moriah – F/G
GOMEZ, Carlo – F
JURUENA, Mark – F
MANIEGO, Miggy – G/F
MANUEL, Jett – G
MBAH, Alinko – C
MONTECASTRO, Jelo – G
PASCUAL, Martin – F
ROMERO, Paolo – F
SILUNGAN, Mike – G/F
WIERZBA, Robby – G
WONG, Julius – G/F

Head coach: DANDAN, Ricky (1st season)

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

ABDUL, Karim – C
AFUANG, Carmelo – F
AYTONA, Eddie – G
CAMUS, Chris – F/C
FERRER, Kevin – F
FORTUNA, Jeric – G
JAVIER, Ron – F
LAO, Kent – F
LO, Kim – F
PE, Paolo – F
SARCIA, Jaypee – G
SHERIFF, Jamil – G
TAN, Robin – G
TENG, Jeric – G
UNGRIA, Aljohn – F
VIGIL, Louie – F

Head coach: JARENCIO, Pido (6th season)
According to sir Christian Soler, this line-up is still subject to further review by the UAAP Eligibility Committee. The final listing of official players that will comprise the roster of each of the 8 UAAP teams will be out after July 5.

But should this list be the final listing, it would seem apparent that this could possibly be the standings by the end of the season:

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

Please be reminded accordingly that this initial ranking is based solely on the information available from the provided roster, meaning, the number of hold-overs from last season, the number of deductions and additions from the team, the number of years the coach has spent on both the team and in the league, and partly to consider, their recent performances during the summer.

As new information will be provided in the weeks to come, as well as detailed statistical reviews from the experts, the standings in this initial order will definitely be needing editing. Do keep in touch here and at inboundpass for more on UAAP’s Season 74!