Friday, August 13, 2010

UAAP Season 73 1st Round post-script

After 1 round robin, let's look into each UAAP team:

EDIT: Records indicate are as of end of 1st round, even though FEU already lost to Adamson and UE beat UST to kick off the second round.

1. Far Eastern University (7-0) - They are showing why they are the prohibitive favorites for this season. And so far, no off-the-court shenanigans

Surprise: How RR Garcia is the top MVP candidate after the 1st round. I thought it would be Aldrech, but he is not that far behind.

Disappointment: Hard to find flaws in an unbeaten team, but I did expect more from Cawaling, Cervantes and Sanga, especially since they are the veterans of the team.

End of eliminations prediction: 12-2

Wish: A Pipo Noundou jersey

2. Ateneo de Manila University (5-2) - The defending champs are still alright. They lose their three key cogs of their championship runs, and they still among the top teams. Speaks well of how good Coach Norman Black is.

Surprise: Juami Tiongson is already showing that he has the chops to start at the point next season. Frank Golla developing into a quality big. Justin Chua making the next step.

Disappointment: The loss to La Salle really hurt. Inconsistencies with Nico Salva & Ryan Buenafe. Still having slow starts.

End of eliminations prediction: 11-3

Wish: That Nike gets it right with the uniform design.

3. Adamson University (5-2) - Last year's heartbreak team is now everyone's trendy sleeper. And their record shows it.

Surprise: Lester Alvarez is arguably the best PG in the UAAP right now. We saw him come off the bench last year. Now, he is the engine that keeps Coach Leo Austria's offense going.

Disappointment: That they still have not yet beaten Ateneo since their return from the Marlou Aquino-induced suspension

End of eliminations prediction: 10-4

Wish: That it is already Mike Galinato's final year. Hard to believe he and Japeth Aguilar were teammates in high school.

 4. De La Salle University (4-3) - The surprise of the season so far. The team is composed of mostly newcomers and second-year players with a new head coach was supposed to be good next season. Had they beat the Falcons in their final 1st round assignment, they would be sitting pretty at second place.

Surprise: How this squad has not been as annoying as the previous incarnations of the squad over the past few years. No Arana antics, etc... Even Joshua Webb.

Disappointment: That there is no cure to Tayshaun Andrada in HD.

End of eliminations prediction: 8-6

Wish: More minutes for Ferdinand.

5. National University (3-4) - If not La Salle, they are the surprise team this season.

Surprise: How Eric Gonzales somewhat kept this NU team from reverting to its past tendencies. Their depth at the bigs is a little underrated.

Disappointment: That in 2011, the much hyped-recruit named Norman Penola will be wearing Bulldog colors instead of the Blue and the White

End of eliminations prediction: 8-6

Wish: More monickers like Jerome "the Umbrella Man" Tungcul

6. University of Santo Tomas (3-4) - They were pegged to finish 8th this season, but their hustle and aggressive Pidoffense keeping them in 6th place.

Surprise: That they can still score in bunches even in losing the MVP. You can thank their firecracking PG duo of Jeric Fortuna and Clark Bautista for that.

Disappointment: Jeric Teng was expected to make huge offensive contirbutions, but has not really done that yet. Then again, he has a huge workload on his plate.

End of eliminations prediction: 7-7

Wish: That we appreciate what Chris Camus does. You'd love him as a teammate.

7. University of the East (1-6) - Stumbled early, but ended okay with a win against UP and a close loss to Ateneo.

Surprise: Ken Acibar stepping to try to fill the huge shoes left by Elmer Espiritu and Pari Llagas. Paul Lee quickly recovering from a injury to be the marked man all season long.

Disappointment: Lucas Tagarda's attempts to be annoying.

End of eliminations prediction: 4-10

Wish: Lawrence Chiongson to suddenly transform into Alfrancis Chua

8. University of the Philippines (0-7) - Quite easily the most disappointing team right now. Supposed to be pegged to figure in the Final Four race, they are halfway from being 0-14 again.

Surprise: How UP decided to suddenly pull the plug on the Aboy Castro experience.

Disappointment: Where do we start? No fluidity from the guards. The regression / plateauing of Woody Co. UP fan apathy.

End of eliminations prediction: 1-13

Wish: To see UP win a game starting next week.

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