RR Garcia's Tamaraws are undefeated, but is that enough
to give them the top spot in the Power Rankings?

*Each weekly review contains updated Team Standings, Team Power Rankings, Player Awards, and Statistical Leaders.

(image by Enzo Flojo/Hoop Nut)

Mild disclaimer: This was an unusually tough week to analyze simply because not all the teams played. Due to the anomaly that was Ferdie, the Saturday games were suspended, making both the Adamson Soaring Falcons and the UP Fighting Maroons miss their only playdates of the week. Still, some interesting things transpired that are worth inserting into this meager attempt at a review/analysis of Week 2. I’m also 110% sure not everyone will agree with the following rankings, but that was never the point anyway. As long as this fosters discussion and gives fodder for tabletop discourse, then all’s good. Well, hopefully.

Okay, another thing, keep this in mind: Both NU and DLSU have beaten UE by double-figures. Ateneo beat NU, and FEU beat DLSU. FEU had beaten UST, which beat Ateneo. Does this mean FEU has a solid hold on the top spot? Let the disagreements begin!

1-    UST Growling Tigers: No. FEU is NOT #1 after Week 2. This top spot, after MUCH milling about, is reserved for the Growling Tigers. Yes, it seems like they don’t deserve it after the lobotomy they got from Ateneo in the first half of their Thursday match, but UST looked like world-beaters in the latter 20 minutes of that encounter. Breaking a 5-year spell also means this is one inspired quintet. Aljon Mariano wore his Dylan Ababou suit in that game, and I think we’ll see even better play from him as the season wears on. They have EVERYTHING going for them headed into their game against NU on Saturday.

2-    Ateneo Blue Eagles: Yes, the Eagles are slightly above the pace-setting Tamaraws. Before you hunt me down with pitchforks, however, just think about it. The Eagles could just as easily have been 3-0 if not for the unfortunate Frank Golla “own goal” in their third period meltdown against UST. Still, it WAS a meltdown, which means they’re still not good enough for first, BUT they did blow out an NU team that was then undefeated dating back to the Filoil tourney. With all things said and done, I believe most people will still be more afraid of Ateneo rather than FEU, or am I wearing my color on my sleeve yet again?! Up ahead is a big test in De La Salle.

3-    FEU Tamaraws: I was talking with one sportswriter on opening day, and he told me FEU wouldn’t even make the Final Four this season. We’re still about 12 games away from finding out if that’s going to happen, but right now the Tams are not only in the top 4, they’re at THE top of the heap. Both wins were down-to-the-wire, which could mean one or both of these things: 1) FEU is one helluva lucky team, and/or 2) FEU is one helluva clutch team. Right now, it seems the latter applies – LA Revilla’s absence this past Sunday notwithstanding of course. I expect they’ll go up 4-0 after taking on Adamson and UE this week.

4-    NU Bulldogs: Basketball giveth, and Basketball taketh away. It was NU’s turn to eat humble pie as the Eagles handed them their first double-digit loss in their own home court. Despite that, though, at least in terms of their shooting, NU still could’ve beaten either FEU or DLSU on that day. The loss wasn’t really because NU was back-crap terrible; Ateneo was just over-the-top good. The world should seem right again when they tackle UP on Thursday before a critical tussle with the giant-killing Tigers on Saturday.

5-    DLSU Green Archers: Yes, the Archers are tied for second spot at 2-1, but who did they have to beat to get there? They barely beat UP, and needed a good fourth quarter to get past the Red Warriors. In their first acid test of the season, they flubbed in crunch time against the Tamaraws. Yes, LA Revilla wasn’t there, but he would’ve had his hands full against RR Garcia, Terrence Romeo, and Mike Tolomia anyway. The real sinker, however, is the Archers’ free throw shooting. They’re at the bottom half of the league in that department at a 56.4% success rate. That’s not even including the fact that they’re dead last in perimeter points per game – 14.7. So far, all the Archers have shown is they’re a pound-it-inside team and not much else. Against the big guns (like Ateneo on Saturday), they’ll need more than inside muscle.

6-    UP Fighting Maroons: They had no games this past week, but if they had, they probably would have lost to UST. Better then, that they didn’t have to play because our latest memory of them is giving the Archers all they could handle. There are actually a few things going well for UP – they’re the top team in terms of free throw shooting (100%) and bench scoring (30 against DLSU), while taking care of the ball relatively well (just 12 TOs on opening weekend). The big question, of course, is can they continue playing at that level, or even higher? If history is to be the judge, then the good bet is on “No,” but I guess we’ll all find out what the Maroons are made of against NU on Thursday and Adamson on Sunday.

7-    Adamson Soaring Falcons: The bottom-line for Coach Leo Austria is he has to find more production outside of Rodney Brondial, Eric Camson, and Alex Nuyles. He cannot ride those three for fourteen games and expect a run at the Final Four. It’ll just be too much. Jericho Cruz has to be more involved on offense, Roider Cabrera has to learn to create his own shot, and pretty much everyone else has to grow up fast. The Falcons are in the bottom half of most team stats, and that might not change much lest they raise their game a notch or two against FEU and UP this week.

8-    UE Red Warriors: The Warriors are 0-2 and both losses were by double-digits. They’re dead last on offense (57.0ppg), and they gave up 78.5ppg in their first two assignments. Up next? The undefeated FEU Tamaraws on Sunday. I won’t go as far as saying UE will go 0-14 this season because I’m sure someone will slip up against them (read: probably UP, Adamson, and even DLSU – check the preseason), but, quite frankly, the way things look right now, nobody will lose sleep over Coach Jerry Codiñera and his wards.

WEEK 2 PLAYER AWARDS (based on Simple Efficiency Rating unless otherwise specified)
Simple Efficiency Rating (EFF) = (pts+reb+ast+stl+blk) - (fg missed+ft missed+to)

By Position:
Center of Attention: (C)
Greg Slaughter (AdMU) – 11.5ppg, 9.0rpg, 3.5apg, 3.0bpg (19.5 EFF)
*Greg struggled against Karim Abdul, but he ate up Emmanuel Mbe.

Greg Slaughter made up for a lackluster outing against
UST by pounding the NU Bulldogs last Sunday.

Fantastic 4: (PF)
Nico Salva (AdMU) – 19.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.5apg (17.5 EFF)
*Salva seems to be getting into his groove, which might be bad news for DLSU.

Swingin' Swingman: (SF)
Aljon Mariano (UST) – 21pts, 13rebs, 2asts, 1stl (25 EFF)
*He singlehandedly brought UST back from the grave against Ateneo.

Wing Warrior: (SG)
Kiefer Ravena (AdMU) – 18.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.0apg, 1.0spg (17.5 EFF)
*Sophomore slump? Nay.

Focal Point: (PG)
Juami Tiongson (AdMU) – 8.0ppg, 6.0apg, 4.5rpg, 1.5spg, 100% 3PT, 19-1 TO Ratio (17.5 EFF)
*Yes, you read that right – a NINETEEN to ONE Turnover Ratio. Paging Chris Paul and Jason Kidd!

Shock Factor: (most surprising performance --  in a good way)
Juami Tiongson (AdMU) – 8.0ppg, 6.0apg, 4.5rpg, 1.5spg, 100% 3PT, 19-1 TO Ratio (17.5 EFF)
*If Juami keeps this up, then those concerns about Ateneo’s PG position are sure to be no more.

Fresh Prince: (for those in their first playing year)
Anthony Hargrove (FEU) – 7pts, 6rebs, 3blks (12.0 EFF)
*Simply put, FEU should go to Hargrove more – a LOT more.

Honorable Mention:
Adrian Santos (UE) – 14pts, 14rebs, 2blks (17.0 EFF)
Roi Sumang (UE) – 20pts, 5rebs, 3asts, 3 treys, 1blk (17.0 EFF)
Karim Abdul (UST) – 14pts, 5rebs, 2blks, 1ast, 1stl (15.0 EFF)
Ray Parks (NU) – 22pts, 7rebs, 4asts, 1stl (13.0 EFF)
Jeric Teng (UST) – 16pts, 7rebs, 1ast (12.0 EFF)

All-Offensive Five: (pts, oreb & ast)
Adrian Santos (UE) – 14pts, 10orebs
Aljon Mariano (UST) – 21pts, 2orebs, 2asts
Ray Parks (NU) – 22pts, 4asts, 2orebs
Kiefer Ravena (AdMU) – 18.0ppg, 3.0apg, 1.5orpg
Roi Sumang (UE) – 20pts, 3asts, 2orebs

All-Defensive Five: (dreb, stl & blk)
Greg Slaughter (AdMU) – 8.0drpg, 3.0bpg
Norbert Torres (DLSU) – 6.5drpg, 1.5bpg
Aljon Mariano (UST) – 11drebs, 1stl
Roger Pogoy (FEU) – 6drebs, 1blk
LA Revilla (DLSU) – 6drebs, 1stl

UAAP SEASON 75 STAT LEADERS (as of July 23, 2012)
Top Scorers:
Roi Sumang (UE) – 20.5
Ray Parks (NU) – 19.0
Karim Abdul (UST) – 19.0
Mike Silungan (UP) – 18.0
Nico Salva (AdMU) – 17.3

Karim Abdul and the Growling Tigers are riding high
on a wave of confidence after upsetting the defending champs.

Top Rebounders
Eric Camson (AdU) – 12.0
Adrian Santos (UE) – 11.5
Raul Soyud (UP) – 11.0
Karim Abdul (UST) – 10.5

Top Playmakers
Gelo Alolino (NU) – 6.5
Juami Tiongson (AdMU) – 6.3
RR Garcia (FEU) – 5.5
LA Revilla (DLSU) – 5.5

Top Thieves
Mark Lopez (UP) – 3.0
Ray Parks (NU) – 2.5
Roi Sumang (UE) – 2.0
Karim Abdul (UST) – 2.0
Alvin Padilla (UP) – 2.0

Top Rejectors
Greg Slaughter (AdMU) – 3.3
Raul Soyud (UP) – 3.0
Eric Camson (AdU) – 3.0
Anthony Hargrove (FEU) – 3.0
Henru Betayene (NU) – 2.5

Top FG% (at least 4 FGA)
Jul-Ashri Ignacio (NU) - 80%
JP Erram (AdMU) – 75%
Oping Sumalinog (AdMU) – 67%
Anthony Hargrove (FEU) – 62%
Jovet Mendoza (DLSU) – 60%

Top 3PT% (at least 2 3PTA)
Juami Tiongson (AdMU) – 75%
Jeric Teng (UST) – 60%
RR Garcia (FEU) – 56%
Roi Sumang (UE) – 55%

Top FT% (at least 4 FTA)
Aljon Mariano (UST) – 100%
Henry Asilum (UP) – 100%
Raul Soyud (UP) – 100%
Nico Salva (AdMU) – 100%
Juami Tiongson (AdMU) – 100%

*All images are by Juan Benjamin Janeo/
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