Posted Aug 5th 2014
Power Rankings: June 19-20
By Paolo Mariano Posted Jul 22nd 2014
Typhoon Glenda wreaked havoc in Metro Manila, while five players wreaked havoc on the basketball court. Only four games were on tap last week due to the inclement weather but the number of guys who punched in impressive performances was more than enough. In fact, it was really difficult to leave out some names. But after much deliberation, longtime teammates—from the Juniors to the RP Youth Team to the college ranks—took the top spots in this edition of the Power Rankings. Honorable mention goes to Alfred Aroga, Troy Rosario, Roi Sumang, Arvin Tolentino, Ponso Gotladera, and Jason Perkins.
1. Kiefer Ravena – Ateneo
Win vs. La Salle: 29 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast
Last week: No. 2
Let’s not beat around the bush, Ravena is clearly the best player in the UAAP today. It’s also obvious that he loves to compete against archrival La Salle. “The Phenom” torched the Green Archers for a new career-high 29 points, delivered in a variety of shots and angles. None from the reigning champs had success in covering him. When he’s that aggressive on offense, he’s incredibly hard to stop. With his heroic efforts in Ateneo’s back-to-back wins, he was named UAAP Player of the Week.
2. Von Pessumal – Ateneo
Win vs. La Salle: 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast
Last week: N/A
Backstopping Ravena in the Blue Eagles’ dismantling of La Salle was his longtime teammate. The much-improved Pessumal also pumped in a new career-high with 21 markers, nine coming from a pivotal second quarter surge. He disrupted the Green Archers’ defense with his timely outside hits. He also had a terrific all-around game with seven rebounds and three assists. He was the lone player off the Ateneo bench who scored and he’s tailor made for the role of Sixth Man with his energy, hustle, and mindset.
3. Kevin Ferrer – UST
Win vs. FEU: 18 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Stl
Last week: N/A
After an atrocious season-opener, Ferrer bounced back big-time against FEU. He led UST with 18 points, including back-to-back three-pointers in the cardiac fourth quarter. He may have struggled from the field (7-of-18) for the second straight game but he made the important shots. As they say: it’s not how many you make, it’s when you make them. The former Juniors MVP also grabbed six boards, three coming from the offensive end. He needs to be consistent if the Growling Tigers want to find their rhythm.
4. Gelo Alolino – NU
Win vs. UP: 20 Pts, 4-of-7 3FGs, 2 Ast
Last week: No. 4
Retaining his spot at number four is Alolino. We’re seeing a more offensive-minded version of him and that’s exactly what NU needs in the post-Ray Parks era. He fired a career-high 20 points against UP, built on four three-pointers. While his assists total doesn’t reflect it, he also orchestrated the Bulldogs almost flawlessly, leading them on the break and reading the Fighting Maroons’ defense in halfcourt sets. The former University of Perpetual Help stalwart is hands down the best prototypical point guard in the UAAP.
5. Kent Lao – UST
Win vs. FEU: 14 Pts, 75.0% FGs, 2 Reb
Last week: N/A
Talk about making the most out of an opportunity. After failing to see a minute of playing time in their opening day loss, Lao became an unlikely hero in UST’s victory over the Tamaraws. He tallied a career-high 14 points on 6-of-8 field goals, none bigger than what proved to be the game-winning lay-up. The former St. Stephen High School star couldn’t have chosen a better time to step up with Aljon Mariano continuing to struggle. He may look shy but he sure can compete.