September 12, 2011: Final UAAP Team Standings & Final Four Preview

*Since the Elimination Round is over, it seemed more sensible to write a Final Four Preview in lieu of the weekly Power Rankings.

Final Team Standings:

Final Four Preview:

#1 Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles (13-1) vs. #4 UST Growling Tigers (8-6)
All of a sudden the immaculate Eagles seem all too vulnerable. Adamson shut the door on the Blue bigs and coach Norman Black's snipers failed to compensate. Alex Nuyles ran rings around Kirk Long while the rest of coach Leo Austria's crew punctured the basket by exploiting Ateneo's defensive mistakes. The Falcons served up a template of how to beat the Eagles, and UST should take notice. With Karim Abdul, and maybe Melo Afuang, back in tow, the Tigers shouldn't just roll over and hand the Finals slot on a silver platter. But they will not be the favorites here. Remember that Ateneo has a tendency to bounce back with ferocity after a loss, and, well, coach Pido Jarencio's cats haven't exactly performed their best against the Blues this season, too. 

Karim Abdul & Greg Slaughter renew their undergoal
rivalry in the Final Four.
(image by Philip Sison/
UST got manhandled by an average of 19 points by the Katipunan quintet, and Jeric Teng & Co. don't exactly shoot well against the Loyola defense (28% from the field and 16% from rainbow country in two games). One thing UST can exploit, however, is rebounding. Despite being the smaller team, the Tigers' athleticism has seen them edge the Ateneans in cleaning the glass in both games this season. If they can find a way to wax hot from the perimeter and continue controlling the glass, then extending this match-up to a second game isn't too far-fetched. Knowing the Eagles' propensity to recover, though, and their desire to "get back on the horse," UST will probably hit the showers for good by late Thursday afternoon.

#2 Adamson Soaring Falcons (10-4) vs. #3 FEU Tamaraws (9-5)
This has all the makings of a classic encounter. They split their season series, with Adamson waylaying the Tams last July 16 and FEU stealing a win last August 21. Despite FEU being hot of late, however, Adamson still stands to have the advantage here. Buoyed by their historic conquest of the Eagles this past weekend, Adamson is sure to capitalize and rev it up against the Morayta posse. With Austin Manyara looking healthy, Rodney Brondial providing solid back-up work, Jan Colina showing old school sticky defense, and Eric Camson raring for an outburst, coach Leo Austria can probably rest easy knowing Aldrech Ramos will have his hands full on both ends of the floor. On the other hand, RR Garcia should continue hitting the big shots against the Adamson defense, but he won't really be the key here. 

Alex Nuyles might have to hit the ground running against
the likes of Cris Tolomia in their Final Four match.
(image from
If coach Bert Flores seeks to extend his Tams' life, then he will have to ensure two things: limit Alex Nuyles's production and get Terrence Romeo going. Nuyles averaged nearly 20ppg against the Green & Gold this season, and with Ping Excminiano nursing an ankle sprain, coach Flores might have to employ seldom-used Roger Pogoy, undersized Cris Tolomia, or not-100% JR Cawaling to try stopping Adamson's fiery forward. In the end, it just seems the Falcons have too many weapons and, at this point, they're probably on an unprecedented high going into this game. This match might be close, but look for Adamson to probably enter the UAAP Finals for the first time in the Final Four era.

View Past Power Rankings here:

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