Posted Feb 16th 2014
By the Numbers: Sept. 25-28
By Paolo Mariano Posted Sep 30th 2013
The stage is set for the ultimate round of UAAP Season 76. The red-hot De La Salle University was the first team to punch its finals ticket with a convincing win over Far Eastern University (FEU) last Wednesday. Then the rejuvenated University of Santo Tomas (UST) followed suit with a historic triumph over National University (NU), becoming the first fourth seed to advance to the Last Dance. Both teams have momentum in their pockets heading into their best-of-three series with the Green Archers still undefeated in nine straight games, while the Growling Tigers have strung up three straight Ws. This will be the first time they’ll battle for the diadem since 1999.
The combined number of free throws shot by UST and NU last Saturday—the most by any two teams this season. As expected, the do-or-die match was tight and physical, which resulted into lots of trips to the line. Both squads, however, shot poorly from the stripe with the Growling Tigers going 30-of-45 (66.7%) and the Bulldogs hitting 14-of-27 (51.9%). Prior to the game, they only averaged 24.3 and 21.5 FT attempts, respectively.
The three-point field goal shooting of UST’s Kevin Ferrer in their Final Four match-up against NU. The 20-year-old forward has really found his stroke from downtown, draining 7-of-16 treys in their historic upset of the Bulldogs. In the eliminations, he only made nine of his 71 attempts for an atrocious clip of 12.7%. In just two games, he almost duplicated his total for the entire preliminary round. Last season, he tallied 11 three-pointers.
The scoring average of La Salle’s L.A. Revilla in their back-to-back wins versus FEU. The diminutive floor general has never shied away from big moments. He more than tripled his 5.9 PPG in the elimination round in their pair of crucial victories over the Tamaraws. He has found his touch from long range and has penetrated to the lane with ease. Expect the stingy UST defense to pay extra attention to him and his recharged offense.
The number of times La Salle has made it to the championship in the Final Four era—the most by any team. The winning tradition has long been ingrained in the Green Archers, missing the finals only six times since 1994. In their previous 13 appearances, they went on to nab the title five times. They actually won six but the 2004 title was forfeited due to a scandal involving ineligible players. UST, meanwhile, is in its sixth finals tilt since 1994.
The number of times UST and La Salle have faced off in the title game in the Final Four era. The Growling Tigers lead their championship head-to-head, 3-1. They defeated the Green Archers three straight times from 1994-1996 en route to achieving their four-peat. The boys from Taft exacted revenge in 1999 as they won the last two games of their best-of-three duel. FEU and La Salle have the most finals battles in the said period with five.