UP, Letran riding newcomers to top spots in Milcu Got Skills
Powered by players who have just come over, UP and Letran find themselves 1 and 2 in the standings at the midway mark of the elimination round of the 2017 Milcu Got Skills Elite Basketball Showcase.
The Fighting Maroons, on the back of Nigerian powerhouse Bright Akhuetie, downed NU Juniors B, 71-57, a week ago at the Lyceum Gym in Intramuros, Manila to rise to a league-leading 8-1 standing.
Akhuetie, a transferee from Perpetual, posted an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double and joined forces with Fil-Canadian recruit Ervin Santiago who chipped in 14 points.
Meanwhile, the Knights have leaned on the likes of Larry Muyang and Coy Galvelo to register a 7-2 record which has them standing at the second spot.
Muyang once played for La Salle before now standing strong for the Intramuros-based ballers, as evidenced by a 27-point, 14-rebound, 2-steal, and 2-block performance in their 74-70 triumph over FEU.
Galvelo, formerly of St. Claire and then NU, is also making waves with a 17-point, 3-rebound, 1-steal showing in their 80-77 conquest of Chiang Kai Shek.
With their strong starts, both UP and Letran have the inside track for the Under-25 tournament playoffs. There, the top four in the 14-team field will face off with the one-seed pitted against the four-seed and then the two-seed duking it out with the three-seed.
Still in the running are Chiang Kai Shek (6-3), NU Juniors B (6-3), Lyceum (5-3), University of Baguio (UB) (5-4), De Ocampo Memorial College (5-4), and NU Seniors (4-3).
Also with a fighting chance are 4-5 Perpetual, 4-7 Technological Institute of the Philippines, 3-6 JRU, 1-4 NU Juniors A, 1-7 FEU, and 0-7 La Salle.
In the Under-19 division, NU is the pacesetter, boasting of a 5-1 record with FEU and De La Salle Zobel (DLSZ), both at 4-2, close behind.
Still giving chase are 3-3 CODBR, 3-3 Team Delta, 2-4 UB, and 0-6 Perpetual.
Meanwhile, Chiang Kai Shek is the frontrunner in the Under-17 tournament, holding a 7-1 card. Rounding out the top four are 5-1 DLSZ, 5-2 Trinity University of Asia, 4-3 UST, and 4-3 DCYSO.