UAAP 78 Power Rankings: Opening Week
Paolo Mariano on Sep 08, 2015 02:49 PM
Mike Tolomia had his fingerprints all over FEU's win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles with his tenacity on both ends.
It’s the first installment of the weekly Power Rankings of Season 78 and several seniors have already made their marks. It shouldn’t come as a shock though since most graduating players go all out to have a storybook ending to their UAAP career. It seems like yesterday when two of the players listed here were celebrated recruits from the Juniors Division and the RP Youth Team, now, they’re already bidding college goodbye.
Honorable mentions in this maiden Power Rankings go to UP’s Gelo Vito, FEU’s Mac Belo and Raymar Jose, La Salle’s Andrei Caracut, and Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena.
1. Mike Tolomia - FEU
Win vs. Ateneo: 17 Pts, 8 Rebs, 6 Asts
Last season, FEU head coach Nash Racela implored Tolomia to become a more all-around player. Clearly, he has become more comfortable being one. He had his fingerprints all over their win against the Blue Eagles with his tenacity on both ends. He scored when he needed to and dished off perfectly off double teams. He set the tone early for the Tamaraws, scoring 11 of their first 13 points. With his maturity and across-the-board improvement, don’t be surprised if he notches a triple-double very soon.
2. Roger Pogoy - FEU
Win vs. Ateneo: 19 Pts, 4-of-8 3FGS, 3 Rebs
Backstopping Tolomia in their huge win against Ateneo is Pogoy. The soft-spoken Cebuano top-scored for the Morayta-based squad with a career-high 19 points, powered by four three-pointers. Coming off the bench, he strung up 10 quick points in the opening quarter to help the Tams break free. He was aggressive and played smart basketball throughout the game. He also helped in making things difficult for Ravena with his tough on-ball defense. Now in his final year, he’s one of the vital cogs in FEU’s campaign.
3. Jeron Teng – La Salle
Win vs. NU: 18 Pts, 4 Rebs, 2 Asts
Teng once again showed that he’s one of the UAAP’s most feared clutch players. The former Finals MVP nailed the game-sealing basket with 23 seconds left to foil the Bulldogs’ late run. He scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the second half on top of four rebounds and two dimes. His competitiveness is right up there with the league’s elite. Ever since he stepped foot in the UAAP, he has poured his energy into every game. Expect him to have a monster season.
4. Eduardo Daquioag – UST
Win vs. Adamson: 28 Pts, 3 Rebs, 3 Stls
Also in his last tour of duty, the athletic wingman from Ilocos Norte doesn’t want his farewell tour to go down south. He kicked off the season with a career game of 28 points on 48% shooting against Adamson. Even though he needed 25 shots, it was an indication that he has no plans of taking it easy. He played 35 minutes against the Soaring Falcons—the most by any player in the entire opening weekend, a testament to his significance to the Growling Tigers.
5-T. Kevin Ferrer – UST
Win vs. Adamson: 24 Pts, 8 Rebs, 4 Asts
Another senior who made a good account of himself early on is Ferrer. The lanky skipper looked like he grew even more inches and he visibly capitalized on his length and size. He had an all-around game and delivered key baskets when Adamson was threatening to steal the game. The two-time SEA Games gold medalist took care of the UST frontline with an overweight Karim Abdul playing lethargically. A fantastic start to the season could propel the fun-loving forward to having an MVP-type of season.
5-T. Jason Perkins – La Salle
Win vs. NU: 13 Pts, 4-of-4 FTs, 12 Rebs
It’s sort of a cop out to have a tie but it’s just not right to dismiss Perkins’ solid performance against the defending champs. He tallied a double-double and sank crucial charities to ice the game. He patrolled the paint for the Green Archers on both ends, winning his match-up with Alfred Aroga. Despite his consistency, the former Shakopee High School standout in Minnesota is one of the more underappreciated big men in the UAAP. But it looks like things will be different this year.