And the first will be the last.

The first opponent of the Falcons this season was the UST Growling Tigers. Their game was one of jitters and anticipation.

The question then was, “Will we have something to look forward to this season?”

This time around the challenge is, “Show us what’s coming for the next.”

In a matter of 13 games, coach Mike Fermin has taken this group of rookies and newbies and created an actual team. Once thought to be a team with little hope for a win, the Falcons have proven them wrong and can keep the ball rolling with their first win streak of the season.

Previously on the UAAP

Their first meeting was delightful for Falcons hopefuls as they clawed their way back from a halftime deficit and showed that they weren’t the same team that rejoiced at a solitary win a season ago.

UST’s backcourt duo, Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag took the Falcons to town early and muscled their way to the win, looking nigh unbeatable for the remainder of the round. Since then, not only have they fallen to lucky bounces, they’ve been “beaten clean” so to say by Ateneo and UE, making them look mightily vulnerable as the post-season approaches. Beating FEU helped solidify their status as a contender this year, but all those losses ensures the Falcons that the mighty Tigers are definitely mortal.

Game Plan

The Falcons have finally learned to contain teams, some teams. But unlike their first meeting, Karim Abdul is back to form and tearing teams up on offense again. This, plus the MVP-race-like play of both Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag, the confidence of players like Marvin Lee and Kent Lao, and the Falcons will need a lot more than a late game run to win this time.

But fortunately the Falcons have developed some new weapons of their own. Pape Sarr is finally looking like his Fil-Oil self and putting up monster stats to help their cause. Jerome Garcia has become a reliable scoring option since his breakout game against UP. Joseph Nalos is still the steady hand of the Falcons offense with William Polican the more than able backup. Most importantly, JD Tungcab has finally learned his place in the system and the UAAP seniors division and is starting to show off why he was a juniors mythical five.

Expect Abdul and Sarr to clash heavily in the paint as the Falcons will undoubtedly look to him for most of their offense. Nalos will need to deal with Daquioag and Tungcab will fend off Ferrer. Size, athleticism, and experience all favor UST. Desperation also favors them as UST will be fighting for a twice-to-beat advantage while the Falcons are playing for pride.

The Falcons are out, but expect them to go out, win or lose, in a blaze of glory.

Game Details
TIME: 2:00 PM