Posted Feb 16th 2014
Power Rankings: Finals
By Paolo Mariano Posted Oct 9th 2013
If you’re not excited for Saturday’s sudden-death showdown between De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas (UST), you better get your head checked quick. The first two games of the series have been very entertaining and highly competitive with both teams displaying grit and desire. So, Game 3 should be a cardiac one as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the five guys on this week’s list all belong to the league’s upper tier, proving that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Honorable mention goes to Norbert Torres and L.A. Revilla, who is averaging 9.5 rebounds in the finals.
1. Jeron Teng – La Salle
Series: 17.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.0 APG
Last week: No. 3
Those who believe that Jeron is a one-dimensional player are eating crow right now. The sensational sophomore has been an all-around force for La Salle in the finals, a role he has maintained since the second round began. He has been a consistent source of points for the Green Archers, while also contributing in their formidable gang rebounding and ball movement. His shot selection has been impressive and he has read the defense well, knowing when to barrel his way or post up.
2. Jeric Teng – UST
Series: 22.5 PPG, 52.0% FGs, 5.0 RPG
Last week: No. 2
Speaking of sensational, Jeric has been exactly like that in the title showdown. You can really feel that he wants to end his stellar UAAP career clutching the trophy. He has been unstoppable on the offensive end, while also playing solid defense on the La Salle backcourt. When UST needed timely hits in Game 1, he delivered. In Game 2, he kept the Growling Tigers afloat the entire 40 minutes. He has been the team’s most consistent player and expect him to go all out on Saturday.
3. Karim Abdul – UST
Series: 16.0 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.5 BPG
Although his play tapered off a little bit in Game 2, Abdul remains as the most important big man in the series. UST would be easily stomped around by La Salle without the Cameroonian. He has managed to maneuver himself against the fearsome frontline of the Green Archers with his nifty footwork and array of post moves. He has also been terrific on defensive end, rejecting 2.5 shots in the first two meetings. The only thing he needs to work on is how to avoid foul trouble.
4. Arnold Van Opstal – La Salle
Series: 13.0 PPG, 50.0% FGs, 9.5 RPG
If there’s one guy who has really upped his game in the finals, it’s Van Opstal. Who would’ve thought that he’d play even better in the season’s biggest stage? This only proves that he duly deserves the Most Improved Player award. He has anchored La Salle’s inside game with his wise decision-making in the paint. He knows when to take it strong and when to dish it off to open teammates, averaging a respectable 2.5 APG in the series. He’s been the big puzzle UST has yet to solve.
5. Kevin Ferrer – UST
Series: 13.0 PPG, 46.7% FGs, 6.0 RPG
Last week: No. 1
Yes, he disappeared in Game 2, but the Growling Tigers wouldn’t even be in a Game 3 without his fantastic Game 1. He made the biggest basket of the series opener with a cold-blooded trey with 41 seconds left to cap off a scintillating shooting afternoon. He has also been a consistent contributor in the rebounding department and has continually hustled for 50-50 balls. Even though he was nowhere to be found last game, he’s still one player La Salle needs to focus on in the decider.