In week two of the UAAP Season 76 Rookie Ladder, we see the same cast of characters and see a bit of movement in the ladder from a few of them.
It’s still early in the season, but it’s starting to look like certain players are starting to distinguish themselves ahead of the pack.
Let’s take a look at how our ladder for the 2nd week shakes out:
5. Robert Bolick
Bolick has played very limited minutes this season. He probably won’t get much playing time this season especially since Jeron Teng has the Small Forward position locked down and DLSU is loaded with guards. From what we see on the court, he is a very good defender as we often see him active and harassing his man throughout the entire possession. Moving forward, if Bolick continues his development and maturity, he will definitely have a chance to be a very good role player for the Green Archers.
4. Andre Paras
Paras has been setting some good picks this season but aside from that, not much contribution from the big guy. It’s really hard to be Paras right now as there will be a big microscope focused on him due to his last name. For now though, he’s really just getting limited minutes for some reason. However, if UP continues its slide, I’m sure he’ll have a chance for extended minutes sooner rather than later.
3. Paul Desiderio
Desiderio had his first start this year against the NU Bulldogs. He seemed a little nervous, missing some open shots and even being a little tentative at dribbling the ball. I was surprised to see that it was Power Forward Chris Ball who was bringing down the ball for the team. It just seemed that he let the pressure of the starting role get to him as he committed two turnovers in eight minutes of play, while also getting his shot erased by a monster block from Ray Parks on the fastbreak. Desiderio’s got to remember he’s a talented guard and shake off the jitters as he’ll probably get many more chances this season.
2. Axel Iñigo
The ADU Falcons had two games this week and Axel Inigo was his cool poised self again. Everything he did was in the flow of the offense and the way he orchestrated the team with poise is such a breath of fresh air on an Adamson team that can get rattled at times. Inigo only had one turnover in two games, while also finding his range from three, knocking down two out of three rainbows this week. With most defenders focused on Jericho Cruz, Inigo can help alleviate the pressure by consistently knocking down some long-range shots and being a constant threat with his passing. He’s just got to work on his catch and shoot game, but it seems pretty good so far. I just can’t get enough of how this kid handles the ball. It’s been a while since we’ve seen someone who glides on the court like he’s on skates. Inigo will mostly be a backup point guard mostly this year, but this kid has a very bright future.
1. Kyles Lao
The UP Maroons had one game this week and Kyles Lao was scorching hot coming off the bench. He was getting points off the fastbreak, driving to the basket and even made a tough contested midrange jumper against the tough NU defense. As I’ve said before, teams will opt to make Lao a jump shooter instead of allowing him a lane to the basket. He’ll have to prove that he can make those midrange shots and when he does, he’ll be a nightmare for the defense of opposing teams. Lao’s aggressiveness is unwavering, he’s never afraid to take the shot and confidence like what he has is really something important in basketball. This helps him score in bunches and when he’s got the hot hand, he really gets it going, scoring 11 against the NU Bulldogs which prompted them to put their biggest perimeter defender (Parks) on him. In the end, it was interesting how long Lao sat on the bench after scoring nine points in the 2nd quarter. He was put back in the 4th quarter but wasn’t as effective anymore.
Previous Rookie Ladders:
What makes a player in the UAAP eligible for the Rookie of the Year award?
The UAAP differentiates between Rookies (freshman college students from local high schools) and first year players. Only rookies are eligible for the ROY award in UAAP, which means that players like Ateneo’s Chris Newsome, La Salle’s Jason Perkins and the other foreign-born first year players are not included in the mix for the award.