Posted Aug 5th 2014
Power Rankings: July 12-13
By Paolo Mariano Posted Jul 15th 2014
The UAAP will definitely miss Ray Parks, Emmanuel Mbe, Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia, Jeric Teng, Ryan Buenafe, Rodney Brondial, etc. The league is a revolving door for players and there’ll always be bittersweet goodbyes. But as with every year, other guys will inevitably step up to the plate and be the new faces of the UAAP. That’s the beauty of it. Just this opening weekend, several studs stood out—some old names and some relatively new ones. They make up Season 77’s maiden Power Rankings.
1. Mike Tolomia – FEU
Win vs. La Salle: 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast
After being the go-to-guy for FEU-FERN in high school, Tolomia was forced to accept a supporting, less glamorous role once he joined the Tamaraws in 2011. He played in the shadows of Romeo, Garcia, or even Ping Exciminiano. But now, he’s ready to take over the team. He carried FEU past powerhouse La Salle with an inspired performance. After scoring only three points in the first half, he waxed hot in the final two quarters, pouring in 20 markers, including 13 in the final salvo.
2. Kiefer Ravena – Ateneo
Win vs. Adamson: 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast
Last year, Ravena, hobbled by a sprained ankle, started the season with only two points in eight minutes of action. Injury-free this season, he made sure to begin Ateneo’s campaign with a statement performance. He tallied 22 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two impressive slams, the first one giving Adamson’s 6’7” rookie Matthew Aquino a nice poster as a souvenir for his UAAP debut. If The Phenom continues to play this aggressive type of basketball, the Blue Eagles will be real scary.
3. Mac Belo – FEU
Win vs. La Salle: 20 Pts, 46.6% FG, 4 Reb
Playing Robin to Tolomia’s Batman in their huge win over the defending champs was Belo, who provided the needed scoring punch throughout the game. Every time it seemed like La Salle was going to pull away in the first half, the soft-spoken forward from Cotabato made a basket or created something out of nothing. His size, length, and outside shooting created mismatches against the slower frontline of the Green Archers. He could’ve done more if he hadn’t suffered from cramps late in the fourth quarter.
4. Gelo Alolino – NU
Win vs. UST: 13 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Stl
The Bulldogs started erratically in their game against UST. But in the middle of the early chaos was Alolino, poised and in-control as always. He was easily the best player in most stretches of that slow face-off. He finished with a game-high 13 points, built on 6-of-10 shooting, while also helping in other departments. With Ray Parks gone, the former RP Youth Team member needs to shoulder more load, especially on offense. But being the intelligent player that he is, he surely knows this already.
5. Dan Alberto – UE
Win vs. UP: 15 Pts, 5-of-6 3FG, 2 Ast
A name you probably haven’t heard of, Alberto is one of the guys who should have a breakout season. He surely showed that in UE’s easy win over UP with a team-high 15 points, all from three point range. He already had flashes of potential last year and now, he’s all set to make the most out of his increased floor time. He is reminiscent of former Red Warrior playmaker Earn Saguindel with his spunky style, ability to set plays, and knock down outside shots.