Posted Feb 16th 2014
By the Numbers: Aug. 28-Sept. 1
By Paolo Mariano Posted Sep 2nd 2013
Just like that, National University (NU), tagged as a heavy favorite prior to the season, is atop the ladder with its fifth consecutive victory. Also keeping its winning streak alive is De La Salle University, which has now strung up four straight after toppling archrival Ateneo de Manila University, whose streak was snapped at five. University of Santo Tomas (UST), meanwhile, has found some momentum heading to the final stretches with back-to-back Ws, including a huge one over Far Eastern University (FEU). For sure, we’re in for a whirlwind finish with six teams still in the hunt for the top two spots in the Final Four.
The year La Salle last swept Ateneo in the elimination round prior to this season. The squad was bannered by Ren-Ren Ritualo, Mike Cortez, and then-rookies Mark Cardona and Joseph Yeo. The Green Archers actually did the feat in 2005 but was nullified after fielding ineligible players Mark Benitez and Tim Gatchalian. Before La Salle’s pair of wins this year, Ateneo nailed six straight. Overall, the Blue Eagles lead their head-to-head, 42-30.
The number of points scored by La Salle’s Almond Vosotros in the second half against Ateneo. Before Jeron Teng hit the gutsy game-winner, it was the crafty guard who kept the Green Archers afloat with his timely hits. Putting up just three points in the first half, Vosotros waxed hot and drained 16 of his game-high 19 markers after the break, including nine in the last period. Again, when Taft needs saving, this guy is always to the rescue.
The scoring average of NU’s Robin Roño in the second round. If there’s such a thing as 2nd Round MVP, the spunky guard from Zamboanga is surely a prime candidate. He has picked up his production after averaging a paltry 2.9 PPG in the first half of the season. His slide to the shooting guard spot has given him more opportunities to score and he isn’t wasting them one bit, shooting at an impressive 68.7% (11-of-16) from long range.
The number of UST players who finished with a double-double in points and rebounds versus FEU. They are Karim Abdul (24-12), Aljon Mariano (21-11), and Kevin Ferrer (15-13). The frontline threesome showed grit and resolve in their marathon of a match, carrying the Growling Tigers, especially in the clutch. They also dug really deep in their oxygen tanks as they all played at least 42 out of the 50 minutes of the double overtime classic.
The number of games University of the East’s (UE) Ralf Olivares will sit out due to suspension. The sweet-shooting Cebuano got the axe due to his unsportsmanlike behavior in their loss to NU last Saturday. He stepped on Paolo Javelona’s stomach, elbowed Roño in the face, and bumped Jeoff Javillonar even though he was already on the bench due to five fouls. Because of the sanction, he’ll miss their crucial tiffs against Ateneo and La Salle.