July 19, 2011: UAAP Team Standings & Power Rankings

Team Standings as of July 18, 2011:

Power Rankings as of July 18, 2011:
1 - Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles
The defending champs came from behind to win an ugly game, and led most of the way in defeating DLSU. Newcomers Slaughter and Ravena have lived up to their billing, and most of the veterans know when to turn it on. Bench hasn't shown up yet, but it has not prevented them from going 2-0 against two Final Four contenders in Weeks 1 & 2. Up next are NU & UE. If Parks puts 30 on the board again, then Ateneo might be in trouble, but the Eagles' normal game should be enough to beat NU.The only thing that makes UE even remotely dangerous is the fact that Ateneo plays them just two days after the NU game. Still, Ateneo should move up some more to 4-0.

2 - Adamson Soaring Falcons
A close loss to the Eagles and a convincing win against the Tams are enough to make Leo Austria's boys bridesmaids after four playdates. Alex Nuyles showed he can take over the game and Eric Camson was as solid as ever against FEU. Now if only Lester Alvarez wouldn't miss so many shots. They face the Tigers next, and that promises to be a barn-burner. As long as Nuyles, Colina, Camson & Manyara stay true to form, and Alvarez does not shoot his own team out of the game, then the Falcons should get their 2nd win.

3 - FEU Tamaraws
Pounded La Salle, but got pounded by Adamson. The Tams have been consistently inconsistent. Garcia, Ramos and, surprisingly, Cawaling have been steady, but they're clearly missing Cervantes and Noundou. For one game, Bringas and Cruz proved to be enough to clog the PF hole, but their true colors unraveled against the Falcons. UE should be a motivational appetizer on Thursday before they tackle the main course that is NU on Sunday. Unless Parks drops 30 again, FEU should go up 3-1.

4 - UST Growling Tigers
The real season begins this week for UST. I consider beating NU an upset and, well, they dominated UE until that horrific 4th canto. What do these mean? UST hasn't changed. They shoot from the hip and shoot a lot -- they'll miss a lot, but any team that isn't careful can get ambushed. The acid test is on Sunday against the Falcons. Can rookie Kevin Ferrer continue doing his best Khasim Mirza imitation, or will we simply chalk his impressive first week to beginner's luck? I'm pegging Adamson to give UST its first loss (of many).

5 - NU Bulldogs
Ray Parks was awesome against a not-so-strong UP, but he was awful against stronger-by-just-a-bit UST. And who will he and his Bulldogs go up against on Thursday? The defending champs. He has his work cut out for him, but, as we all witnessed, he has the raw skill to take over and be the sole difference-maker in a game. And what comes after Ateneo? Hello FEU. Good luck NU, you'll need it, especially if Mbe continues his foul-happy ways. Will probably go down 1-3.

6 - De La Salle Green Archers
Getting ranked 6 out of 8 teams despite not winning anything should be reason to celebrate, but this DLSU team is so stacked that getting ranked 6 out of 8 is nothing short of an embarrassment. A lot of quarters are whispering mutiny against the green minds on the Archer bench, but I say let them play it out a little bit more. Cut them some slack. They did lose to last year's two best teams after all. UP is up next, so that should be a not-so-hard W right? Wrong. UP will be dangerous, and if coach Dindo Pumaren keeps on playing 15 people, then maybe he should begin planning an exit strategy. But DLSU should win. Should.

7 - UP Fighting Maroons
Beating the UE Red Warriors in Season 74 won't really count for much praise or rise in stock, which is why the Maroons are below the only other winless team in the league. Jett Manuel has been a revelation, but I don't think the soph can carry the cudgels for UP day in and day out. The Mike & Mike combo that plastered UE last Thursday should show up against DLSU, and UP should consistently play as well as they did in that great 2nd quarter against NU. But if neither of those things happens, then the Maroons will be in a familiar position -- on the flat of their backs.

8 - UE Red Warriors
The Warriors' two best chances at upsetting any team this season have both passed. Needless to say, they lost both games. Up next? FEU and Ateneo. Nothing follows.

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