UAAP by the Numbers: Week 12
Paolo Mariano on Nov 23, 2015 01:02 PM
The UST Growling Tigers are the fifth team in UAAP history that advanced to the finals after missing the Final Four the previous year.
As logic dictates, the top two teams at the end of the elimination round will slug it out for the UAAP championship in Season 78.
The University of Santo Tomas (NU), overlooked in preseason forecasts, ousted National University (NU) in the Final Four and is now two wins away from completing an astonishing season. Far Eastern University (FEU), meanwhile, billed as consensus favorite this year, squeezed past Ateneo de Manila University in their classic semifinals skirmish to continue its quest of avenging last season’s championship defeat.
As in the past years, the season has been nothing but heart-pounding, punctuated by a frenetic finish heading into the Final Four. There will be a new champion this season and UST and FEU have the golden opportunity to finally annex the coveted crown after bridesmaid finishes in the last five years.
The year UST and FEU last faced each other in the finals. The Tamaraws drubbed the then-Glowing Goldies in the knockout match, 100-89 at the Loyola Center to kick off their three-peat. Call it fate or happenstance or whatever, but the Growling Tigers and the Tamaraws have avoided each other in the Last Dance for almost four decades. Since their last championship duel, FEU has won nine titles, while UST has captured five. Quite an interesting tidbit for the two winningest teams in the league.
The number of bench points scored by FEU versus Ateneo. The Tamaraws’ second and third units tallied more than half of their 76 points. Of course, it helped that Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia, the team’s top two scorers, came off the bench. The Tams’ one-two punch combined for 28 points, but the other shock troopers also contributed, teaming up for 15 points to highlight the squad’s spread offense. In contrast, the Blue Eagles only got 24 bench points, 17 coming from rookie Adrian Wong.
The number of times in UAAP history that a team advanced to the finals after missing the Final Four the previous year. This season’s UST squad joined the list, avenging last year’s debacle. Despite a talented lineup and back-to-back finals stints, the Growling Tigers finished sixth with a 5-9 slate. FEU achieved the feat in 1997 and 2003, while De La Salle University did it in 2007. The last team to take home the crown after missing the semifinals the year before? UST in 2006.
The number of statistical points (SPs) that separated MVP Kiefer Ravena and runner-up Kevin Ferrer. It was neck-and-neck battle for the league’s top individual accolade as the Ateneo stalwart amassed 69.50 SPs, while the UST skipper tallied 67.35. It came down the wire with Ravena sealing the award after a prolific performance in their last outing. Last season, he was a good 9.43 SPs ahead of second-placer Jeron Teng. “The Phenom” avenged his MVP loss to Ferrer during their final year in the Juniors division.
The number of field goals made by NU’s Gelo Alolino against UST. It’s unfortunate that the worst shooting game of his praiseworthy UAAP career came at the most crucial time. He missed all but one of his team-high 17 attempts. His lone basket—a three-pointer—came in the opening minutes of the third quarter. He was shackled by the scrappy, tireless defense of Jan Sheriff and Marvin Lee as he forced most of his shots. An ignominious exit for one of the league’s elite players.