July 14, 2014
Pong Ducanes, the handsomest and the healthiest statistics guy in the planet, is the person you see churning out numbers in the UAAP. If you want some numbers trivia, he’s the guy. So when Sportsmaryosep texted him to e-mail some of his stuffs, he, being quick to the draw as usual, responded swiftly.
And here’s how the conversation went.
Sportsmaryosep: Idol, please e-mail me the stats of UAAP’s first four games.
Pong: Idol, give me five minutes, I just arrived home and opening up my laptop.
Sportsmaryosep: Okay, thanks idol.
After less than five minutes…
Pong: Idol, dyan na.
Sportsmaryosep: Thanks idol! By the way, who’s your sponsoring your stats-making machine again?
Pong: Hahaha! Smart Bro lang idol.
So there Pong, I’ve mentioned it.
Armed with all the stats and being witness to the first two days of hell in the UAAP Season 77, we came out with 16 things that served as highlights of the much-awaited season that is already upon us. And here it goes:
16. La Salle’s wadrobe
We’re no fashion gurus here but combining green pants with white jacket and a green tie is something that will be talked about for a long time. Reuben Terrado of spin.ph reports that the idea came from no less than La Salle benefactor Danding Cojuangco. You be the judge.
15. La Salle is vulnerable
Who would have thought that a complete and intact team like La Salle will be beaten by an FEU team without its (Vice Ganda’s) heart and soul, Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia. But they did. And as they say, don’t judge the book by its cover.
14. FEU is a darkhorse team
Credit to coach Nash Racela and his system for the Tams’ impressive start. The Tams have shown incredible resilience after fighting back from double-digit deficits in the first quarter and eventually translating it to a shock 82-77 win over La Salle, the landslide pre-season favorite.
13. Tolomia, not Tolome
What a player. Chris Tolomia have shown he has taken the cudgels from Romeo and Garcia with a scintillating performance–23 points including four booming triples and a game-high five assists. Expect him to go more homicidal in the coming games.
12. Cosmetic Belo
If you’ve seen pretty boy rookie Richard Escoto riding a motorized trolley in the customary opening ceremony of the UAAP, don’t mistake him as the face of FEU. It’s Mark Belo who is. Belo had 20 points on an efficient seven-of-13 shooting clip in 25 minutes. If you’re not impressed, take a closer look at him in the next games.
11. No Parks, no problem
National U have shown it can win games even without its former alpha dog, two-time league MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. as evidenced by its surprise 59-40 evisceration of last year’s losing finalist University of Santo Tomas.
10. UST toothless Tigers
For a team that is parading an almost intact line up, being held to 40 points is an utter disaster. And UP and Adamson, the supposed league dormat this season, has scored 59 and 57, respectively, against stronger opposition. This is tragic and catastrophic. A total devastation. Running out of sad words for UST.
9. Welcome back coach Derrick
Some things never change. Sportsmaryosep’s pick to win it all, University of the East, has made a good account of itself after mangling UP, 87-59. Derrick Pumaren’s signature full-court-trapping all the way did the trick. Business as usual
8. Super Sumang
Roi Sumang is not even that super. But numbers don’t lie. Sumang had seven points, five boards and six dimes and could have triple-doubled if it hadn’t blown out UP early. But it proved us right again that he is the BEST pointguard in the UAAP right now.
7. Pick your poison
The Warriors have two African imports that can take you out in different ways. Moustapha Arafat can destroy you with his lethal mix of agility, athleticism and skills while Charles Mammie will kill you with brute force.
6. UP, up, down, down
The only bright spots in the Maroons rotation were last season’s Rookie of the Year Kyles Lao and former San Beda high school standout Dave Moralde. At least there’s promise. And you’re chearleading team is assured of finishing in the Top Two.
5. Eagles have landed
With a group of blue chip recruits at its disposal, the future looks bright for Ateneo. The present too after it smashed Adamson, 79-57.
4. Return of the Kief
After he was slowed down last season by injuries, Kiefer Ravena is back in full force. And Sunday’s effort–22 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a bloc–is an indication he will be menacing the rest of the year.
3. Coach Captain Marbel
Who would not love Kenneth Duremdes? But coaching is a far different planet. And after a painful debut, he will soon realize it’s not a walk in the park just like in his playing days. But he’s a rookie coach and the best teacher is experience. So roll with the punches Kenneth.
2. The tallest assistant coach
Remember 6-9 Marlou Aquino of the Brgy. Ginebra, Sta. Lucia fame? He’s now with the Falcons as one of Duremdes’ lieutenants. Hmmmm. If only he and Duremdes could play.
1. Battle of the Bulge
Unless UST’s poor start is just an anomaly, it will be the Fightless Maroons and the Wingless Falcons fighting it out for the “Unholy Grail”–Dead last.
What’s your thoughts?
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photos courtesy of spin.ph, Filoil Flying V)