With the opening of UAAP's 74th season a few weeks back, spotlight now is on the Blue Eagles as they try to bag their fourth consecutive championship in the Men's (Srs.) Basketball Division. The last time a UAAP team had that achievement was in 1998-2001 courtesy of DLSU Green Archers. But it was the UST Growling Tigers who first tallied the said record in the whole UAAP history including the 1993 championship wherein they swept all of their 14 games. Woot, woot!
Now back to the four-peat seeking team, they really have a big chance to seal the deal this year and prove that the hosting jinx is an urban legend after all. Their line-up is pretty much solid since they only lost two key players by the name of Eric Salamat and Ryan Buenafe. They still have good shooters in Kirk Long and Nico Salva plus the addition of 7"1 Greg Slaughter and the sharp-shooting Kiefer Ravena in their line-up made their campaign even stronger.
With most of the teams parading their imports and a couple of good rookies, the journey towards the championship will definitely not be an easy one. Let's wait and see if there's gonna be a bonfire in Katips sometime in October.
Aside from the ADMU Blue Eagles, the team to watch out for this season is the NU Bulldogs because of one reason: Bobby "Ray-Ray" Parks Jr. Okay, I don't know this kid but I first heard him last year from a friend and according to that friend, he's one great player! Now that last year's MVP runner up Mbe has a new partner, expect that the once underdogs to go as far as the Final Four....that is, if they play more consistently and will not choke during crunch time.
I think this year's set of rookies is by far the most talented batch I've seen. Slaughter debuted with 23 points while crowd favorites Ravena and Parks shrugged off their supposed rookie jitters and showed their real strength as they lifted their teams to victory during their recent games by contributing 24 and 30 points respectively. And with bias intended (haha), UST's Kevin Ferrer, last year's Jrs. MVP, played consistently for his team with 12 pts and 11 rebs in his first game against the NU Bulldogs and a 19point performance against UE Red Warriors a while ago.Whew, ikaw na Ferrer ang bagong favorite tiger ko, next is Fortuna, then Camus!Hahahaha
Another rookie to watch out for is NU's Lee Villamor who also had an outside touch as evidenced by his 19-point performance against UST. Rookies of DLSU, UE, UP, and FEU seem to be needing a little more time to show what they got this season since compared to their counterparts in the three schools mentioned above, their presence is not that much felt.
And since I'm a Tiger supporter, I think that this year's rookie will be a great threat in the future to the seven remaining teams harhar. Seriously, Ferrer and that Vigil guy are great guys. Cameroonian recruit Abdul may not be that monstrous but who knows, he'll improve over time. So far, I'm liking UST's line-up: Fortuna, Camus, and Ferrer although I have my reservations on Abdul and Jeric Teng.
I am not that confident though that UST will enter the Final Four this season...unless Abdul's performance will vastly improve and Teng will play more consistently and unselfishly just like what he did in 2009 when he won the ROY award. Oh well, I just hope the Tigers will do well this year. Kahit fifth placer man lang haha!
And a win against ADMU pleaseee haha four seasons already passed but the Eagles kept on wounding the Tigers so hopefully, they'll win. And I'm excited for a Ravena-Ferrer match-up... Wait, is that possible? It'll be an interesting match-up for these former Jrs.MVPs.
Had a great time watching the UST-UE game a while ago with Dez and Shelly. Sa wakas, panalo na din haha!Ang sarap kantahin ang UST Hymn knowing that your team won. Kaloka lang ang almost choker moments ng UST haha! Luckily, they got away with it. I just hope for their consistency especially their upcoming games will be very crucial as they will face a much bigger and stronger FEU, ADU, DLSU, and of course ADMU. yay.
Don't forget UP's also playing well this season so UST should not be complacent with the Fighting Maroons.