UAAP By the Numbers: Week 11
Paolo Mariano on Nov 16, 2015 01:59 PM
20 YEARS IN THE MAKING? The last time UST was the top-seed was back in 1996 with MVP Chris Cantonjos and Rookie of the Year Gerard Francisco.
At the end of the penultimate week of the elimination round, only two things are certain: One, University of Santo Tomas (UST) will enter the Final Four as the top seed and two, fans are losing their minds.
Not many pundits thought that Season 78 would wind up this crazy. But that’s exactly the beauty of the league.
UST locked the No. 1 spot after beating Adamson University to finish with an 11-3 slate. Preseason favorite Far Eastern University (FEU), on the other hand, lost its chance to snag the top seed after bowing to a relentless National University (NU) squad. Ateneo de Manila University, meanwhile, saw its twice-to-beat hopes slip away after being spoiled by University of the East (UE).
Then there’s De La Salle University, which needs to win its final assignment against FEU to force a do-or-die duel with NU for the last semifinals ticket.
The last year UST finished first at the end of the elimination round. That season, the Growling Tigers won the second of their four straight titles after beating La Salle. They were then coached by Aric del Rosario and featured players like MVP Chris Cantonjos, Rookie of the Year Gerard Francisco, and Richard Yee. They had the chance to snag the top seed anew in 1999 but lost in the playoff to the Green Archers. Will it be déjà vu 20 years in the making?
The number of rebounds grabbed by La Salle’s Prince Rivero versus University of the Philippines (UP)—the most by a non-import this season. The former NCAA Juniors MVP has embraced his role as a plug-in center for the embattled Green Archers. He outworked and outsmarted the Fighting Maroons big men on his way to his new rebounding career-high. He also topped it off with 18 points in a smashing double-double effort. He’s tied with Kevin Ferrer as the league’s seventh best rebounder with 8.2 RPG.
The number of points scored by NU’s Gelo Alolino in the second half against FEU. After bleeding for only five markers on 2-of-8 shooting at halftime, the crafty playmaker caught fire in the third quarter, scoring nine points to keep the Bulldogs barking. He then added six more in the payoff period, none bigger than the game-winning jumper with less than 40 seconds remaining. The victory strengthened their post-season hopes and put pressure on the Green Archers to win their final assignment against the Tamaraws.
The combined points of UE’s Chris Javier and Clark Derige in the fourth quarter versus Ateneo. The brawny tandem was simply too much for the grounded Blue Eagles, scoring more than half of the Red Warriors’ 21 markers in the period. Javier scattered seven of his 13 points, while Derige added six of his game-high 17 markers, including two cardiac free throws that sealed the hard-earned W. They badly outplayed the opposing frontline guys, who combined for a whopping zero points in the final salvo.
The number of Ateneo players who have won back-to-back MVP plums. Point guard Jun Reyes did it in 1987 and 1988, while workhorse Rich Alvarez duplicated the feat in 2000 and 2001. A third player though is set to join the exclusive list with Kiefer Ravena practically sealing his second straight MVP trophy with 28 points, four rebounds, and four assists against UE. “The Phenom” led the MVP race at the end of the first round with 70.86 statistical points and never relinquished the spot.