Lipa City, Batangas
June 7, 2014
NBA-like Filoil Flying V
This isn’t the NBA Finals. But when La Salle and San Beda face off in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup Finals at 4 p.m. on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City, it’s going to look like one.
Meet La Salle. The Miami Heat of the Eastern Conference-like UAAP.
Jeron Teng is the closest thing to LeBron James. Ironically though, he plays like Kevin Durant, perhaps a Kobe Bryant. His elder brother, former Santo Tomas hotshot Jeric, happens to be a Heat fan.
Jason Perkins is the closest thing to a Chris Bosh and Norbert Torres and Arnold Van Opstal their Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen. Almond Vosotros may pass as a poor man’s Dwayne Wade and Thomas Torres to a Ray Allen.
And what do you know, Juno Sauler is the Erik Spoelstra.
Here is San Beda. The San Antonio Spurs of the Western Conference-like NCAA.
Nigerian behemoth Ola Adeogun is their Tim Duncan, Baser Amer their Tony Parker and Anthony Semerad their Manu Ginobili. Call Arthur dela Cruz their Kawhi Leonard. Ryusei Koga could be Marco Belinelli. Kyle Pascual plays like Thiago Splitter if he could realize working and banging bodies more inside are better than taking ill-advised jump shots.
Boyet Fernandez isn’t a Gregg Popovich by his actions and words. But for the sake of argument, be a sport, let’s call him Coach Pop in our imaginary world.
Contrastingly, the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup finals isn’t a best-of-seven series but a one-game knockout showdown, which is probably better since it makes it a little more exciting because every single one of them will treat it as a no-tomorrow contest. For all the marbles. Do or die.
It’s La Salle versus San Beda. UAAP vs. NCAA. La Salle’s bigs vs. Adeogun. Jeron vs. Dela Cruz. Amer vs. Vosotros. Call it what you want but for sure, this is going to be war.
Both teams have already made history by making the finals a league record fourth time. La Salle is chasing for more as it shoots for another league high third championship after winning the first two in 2006 and 2007 before eventually getting ambushed by National U two years ago. San Beda failed in its first three tries, falling to La Salle in 2007, University of the East the next year and then to Ateneo in 2011. So expect the Lions to go out hungry and desperate for a title.
For the record, La Salle has a better head-to-head with San Beda in the last year, winning its first meeting in a tune up game by a massive margin, drawing the second in a charity game and prevailing again in their last encounter in the PCCL late last year.
So the Archers are heavily favored.
Guess who Sportsmaryosep is picking to win?
Clue: Yours truly picked the Spurs in the NBA.
My fervent wish is that the air-conditioning will be fine and that it, if in case it malfunctions, players don’t cramp like the player everyone knows who proclaims himself a king.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy of Filoil Flying V and NBA.com Philippines)