Posted Feb 16th 2014
By the Numbers: Finals
By Paolo Mariano Posted Oct 7th 2013
Of course, Season 76 would come down to this: a sudden-death showdown between De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas (UST) for the much coveted hardware. La Salle is looking to fulfill the pre-season prognoses of soothsayers of being the favorite to win the crown this year, while UST is hoping to make history by the becoming the lowest seed to ever win the title. It’s quite fitting that the turbulent season will be decided in a frantic finish. Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure, there will be new kings of the UAAP.
The average number of offensive rebounds by La Salle. The Green Archers have really taken advantage of their height in the series, gaining a plus-14 in the department over UST, which has only tallied 8.5 offensive boards. They’ve exerted the much-needed hustle, continually boxing out and going up for their missed shots. They had 17 second chances in Game 1 and a whopping 27 in Game 2. Usually, height really is might in basketball.
The scoring average of UST’s Jeric Teng. The graduating guard has been nearly unstoppable in the series. He has constantly provided the Growling Tigers with timely hits with his array of moves and outside shooting. He put up 17 points in Game 1 and a career-best 28 in Game 2. He’s doing it efficiently as well, shooting at 52% from the field, while getting to the stripe 7.5 times per game. If only his teammates could be as consistent.
The number of times the finals has extended to a deciding Game 3 in the Final Four era. In those instances, three have been between UST and La Salle (1994, 1995, and 1999). It last happened in 2009 with Ateneo de Manila University and University of the East. In those eight cases, the winner of Game 2 went on to capture the crown five times. Incidentally, the last team to do it is UST, toppling Ateneo in 2006 despite being the lower seed.
The number of players fielded by La Salle head coach Juno Sauler in Game 2. After using 11 of his wards in Game 1, the reticent tactician decided to keep a tight rotation last Saturday. It worked like a charm with his seven players maintaining their flow and rhythm all game long. Usual rotation guys like Oda Tampus, Gabby Reyes, and Kib Montalbo didn’t play but we’re sure they’re fine with it. Almond Vosotros had the most minutes with 38.
The scoring average of UST’s Aljon Mariano. Someone should call him and remind him that’s it’s the finals already. The versatile forward has yet to make an impact in the series, disappearing when the Growling Tigers need him the most. His point production has evidently dropped after averaging a team second-best 12.8 PPG in the elimination round. He’s been getting his shots and touches but it seems he's less aggressive and his mind is somewhere else.