Competition in the UAAP is still as tight as ever, though some teams are starting to break away from the pack. A typhoon caused the cancellation of two Wednesday games, resulting in huge implications regarding the eligibility of FEU’s Garcia. Jeric Teng’s return is cut short, the Maroons’ new coach still can’t get them out of the rut, Ateneo continues to run on a big head of steam and two extra periods decide the battle for the East.
Let’s check out our UAAP Season 76 Power Rankings: Week 6
8. UP Fighting Maroons (0-9) (Previous Rank: 8)
Despite the change in coaching, UP yet again failed to notch up a win this week. They may have won in the first half for the second game in a row (improvement) but closing out games continues to elude them. It’s too late in the season for them to make a run at the final four, but their remaining games will still be important for rebuilding.
7. Adamson Soaring Falcons (3-7) (Previous Rank: 7)
They showed moments of lousiness and then came back with moments of brilliance. Often, the Falcons are at the other end of 19-0 runs, but against Ateneo, they managed to pull one off on their own to cut what was a 25 point lead down to 8 at one point. Their playoffs hopes are getting bleak, but if they sweep their remaining games and a small miracle occurs, they just might slip through the cracks.
6. UST Growling Tigers (47-5) (Previous Rank: 5)
Captain Jeric Teng’s much awaited return was cut short as his hamstring prevented him from competing further. This allowed NU to capitalize on UST’s lack of fire power, delivering UST’s third straight loss. While Teng’s hamstring injury is reported to be not serious, there’s still some panic among Tigers fans as their final four chances start dwindling with every game lost.
5. UE Red Warriors (5-4) (Previous Rank: 3)
Here’s a team that has grown leaps and bounds from last year. At this time last season, the Warriors were out of the running, but their shootout against FEU chucks them squarely into the middle of the final four fray. Mustering every ounce of scoring in them, the Warriors fought back from a 15 point deficit in the 4th quarter and forced overtime.
4. De La Salle Green Archers (6-4) (Previous Rank: 2)
Able to stave off UP’s first half surge, the Taft based squad keeps their streak alive. Their explosive guards and versatile forward lineup makes them a tough team to guard, especially with AVO manning the middle causing problems for those who try to defend him in the post. La Salle is only one of two teams to beat the Tamaraws so far, making the rest of their season a relatively smoother trip.
3. Ateneo Blue Eagles (5-4) (Previous Rank: 4)
With Ravena back and leading the charge, the Eagles along with their Ateneo fans can rightfully hope for a 5-peat once more. Their stellar spacing on the fast break makes them a difficult team to contain while veterans such as Ryan Buenafe are able to convert from half-court sets. Ateneo is on a hot-streak after their poor start in the first round and a few more wins will allow them to forget their 0-3 record at the beginning.
2. NU Bulldogs (7-3) (Previous Rank: 1)
No longer a one man team, the Bulldogs are looking like the contenders everyone expected them to be. Their ability to close out the UST game even without Parks on the floor shows how much good that post-game closed-door meeting helped them. Be scared of this team as they’ve shown that they no longer have to lean exclusively on their MVP to win games.
1. FEU Tamaraws (8-2) (Previous Rank: 6)
Even without former MVP RR Garcia who was out with a suspension, the Tamaraws were able to break their two game slip in what was arguably the most exciting game in the UAAP this season. Terrence Romeo gladly took on the added burden of losing an added scorer and challenged the UE defense over and over again. Coach Nash’s dribble drive offense made minced meat out of the UE defenders as FEU was able to rack up the lead to 15 at one point. The Warriors may have been able to fight back, but it was the Tamaraws’ poise in the closing seconds that enabled them to force double-overtime and then, the win. The two games they lost were just a minor set-backs, after the game against UE, they’re looking as unbeatable as ever.