At the end of three weeks, there is only one thing for certain in the UAAP and that is the fact that, no lead is safe. Teams have climbed back, pulled away and collapsed late in games. This has led our rankings to be unpredictable as well, with teams jumping up and down the rankings week after week.
For all the teams, they will all get a second shot at their opponents after the FIBA break, meaning there will be time to regroup for those teams that have been shaken up in the past games, healing time for players who have gotten injured or have been nursing injuries and rest for those who have been carrying their teams throughout the first round.
With the 1st round almost behind us, let’s see how the eight teams stack up in our UAAP Season 76 Power Rankings:
8. University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons (0-5) (Previous Rank: 8)
It’s sad to see the Maroons still winless. Other than Joseph Marata, none of the Maroons have been able to contribute to their scoring. With the Maroon’s recent defeat to Ateneo, there is very little hope of them entering the second round with even a single win, but then again, weirder things have happened in the UAAP.
7. De La Salle Green Archers (2-3) (Previous Rank: 5)
Twice the Archers have held a sizeable lead entering the clutch and twice the Archers failed to capitalize. They have yet to beat any of the contenders while their only wins are against teams at the bottom of the standings. Not only do they have to clean up their act from the stripe, but their last minute scoring woes keep them from winning very winnable games.
6. Ateneo Blue Eagles (2-4) (Previous Rank: 4)
After breaking the ice and finally winning a game, the Eagles have dropped one and won one. Unfortunately, their second win came at the expense of fellow Katipunan based squad- UP Maroons, so it doesn’t say much as to their power. Good for Ateneo fans, though, Kiefer Ravena is back and nearly at 100%. He did a number on UP, looking more like himself, putting on the moves and reminding everyone why he is the phenom. Their immediate future looks bleak though since their last game of the first round will be against a tough UST team itching to prove that they can win without Teng.
5. National University Bulldogs (3-3) (Previous Rank: 2)
They came close to winning twice, but just couldn’t do enough to get them the “W”. A late game run against FEU almost handed the green giants their first loss of the season, but the hole they dug in the first three quarters was just too deep for them to climb out of. A back and forth battle against Adamson saw them score only three points in the last five minutes of the game, making it the last straw for MVP Bobby Parks and company, thus resulting in their post-game players only meeting. They have yet to beat any contenders aside from UST which was weary after losing their leader Jeric Teng to injury..
4. University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers (3-2) (Previous Rank: 3)
Keeping pace with the red hot FEU trio of Garcia, Romeo and Tolomia is one thing, doing it without your leading scorer is yet another. Lead Tiger Jeric Teng has announced that he won’t be returning to action until the 2nd round, but the Tigers have held their own pretty well in his absence. While their loss to the Tams can greatly be attributed to the lack of Jeric Teng’s production, UST has a chance to end the 1st round strong as their remaining games are against the trailers of the pack, UP and Ateneo.
3. University of the East Red Warriors (3-3) (Previous Rank: 7)
After dropping to a Teng-less Tigers, the Warriors showed that they can still get the job done with two straight wins against a momentum-filled Ateneo and a desperate La Salle. Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie are fast turning into one of the league’s most potent duo, but to keep their winning ways, UE has to find their third man soon.
2. Adamson Soaring Falcons (3-2) (Previous Rank: 6)
They survived their game against NU by the hair of their teeth, but were able to do so because of the immense composure they displayed on both ends of the court. By holding NU scoreless for nearly four minutes, they were able to mount an 8-3 run which was just enough for them to barely escape with the win. It will be an uphill battle for the rest of the first round, however, as they will face La Salle on Wednesday, and then end their first round against the team that’s #1 on this list.
1. Far Eastern University Tamaraws (6-0) (Previous Rank: 1)
Much like in Season 73, the Tamaraws are off to a blazing hot start, remaining unbeaten in six games. Coach Nash’s emphasis on player roles has done wonders for the way his team has played. Romeo being Romeo continues to put his name into the MVP bid while his teammates concentrate on doing their own tasks. The kind of confidence Coach Nash has instilled in his boys to let it fly from beyond the arc is astounding, not only are they the top three-point shooting team in the league, they are also the top in terms of three-point percentage. FEU has only one more game before entering the FIBA break, but if Season 73 is anything to go by, it’s going to be a thriller of a game.