Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UAAP/NCAA Power Rankings: Week 7 of 2011

The unified UAAP/NCAA Power Rankings throws everything into a blender, hits the button, and ducks as it first mashes up, and then sorts out all 18 teams of both leagues. Among other factors, the panel of one takes into consideration: the quality of opponents played in the past week, how the team fared against those opponents, whether or not a team is on a roll, be it an uphill or downhill, and other factors like injuries or internal disarray.

The middle of the rankings have changed dramatically, as in the UAAP, one team lands the number four spot and looks to solidify their hold on it as the post-season looms, while over in the NCAA, former cellar-dwellers begin to find new life in the second round, with an eye to toppling Lyceum from the fourth seed. Also in there, a shift in the top spot again!

Defeated UE 74-70, DLSU 79-62
Last Week: #2 - As someone who's long campaigned for Emman Monfort to be recognized as the best point guard in the UAAP, I hereby submit my latest piece of evidence. His averages this week? 13 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.5 steals. He also went 14 of 14 combined from the line, closing out UE and keeping DLSU at bay in the second quarter.

Upcoming Games: UP on September 1, NU on September 3
No games
Last Week: #1 - The last time there was a lot of rain, head coach Topex Robinson said that the San Sebastian gym could not be used due to it's open nature, forcing them to resort to extended film sessions. With the weather these past couple of days, I wonder if that will affect them when they play the Arellano Chiefs. 

Upcoming Games: AU on August 31
No games
Last Week: #3 - The Red Lions produced the biggest winning margin of the season when they played the EAC Generals in the first round, creaming them 103-62. After losing to San Sebastian in the first round capper, and then coming out sluggish versus Perpetual Help in their maiden second round match-up, they're likely looking forward to this game to help them get back on track. Should Milan Vargas and Joshua Torralba still be out, this might be a 50-point blowout.

Upcoming Games: EAC on September 2
Defeated AU 73-59
Last Week: #4 -Letran's outside shooting has been spotty at best, norming 4.10 treys on 23.3 percent shooting, good for second worst in the league. That's something they'll have to work on in time for when they face San Sebastian and San Beda if they want to have a chance to beat those two powerhouses. Against the other teams, it hasn't been an issue, as seen in their 73-59 win over Arellano in round two, which they won in spite of going 2 of 19 from downtown.

Upcoming Games: JRU on August 31 
Defeated UP 64-51
Last Week: #5 -Austin Manyara broke the double-digit points barrier for the first time in the UAAP, notching a double-double, 13 points and 12 rebounds versus UP, outplaying his UP counterpart Alinko Mbah. If Manyara can start scoring on a more consistent basis for Adamson, then the Falcons become much more deadly, with a post threat for the first time since Jan Colina was a rookie.

Upcoming Games: UE on September 1, UST on September 3

Defeated NU 83-82

Last Week: #6 - The Tamaraws got clutch performances from their big men Aldrech Ramos and Russel Escoto, as their big men went a combined 4 for 4 from beyond the arc, nailing huge triples late against the NU zone in their double overtime thriller. They desperately needed that outside punch, as RR Garcia was limited to just 10 points thanks to a ligament sprain in his shooting hand. If he's not a 100 percent by their Sunday game against UE though, expect the Red Warriors to go for the upset.

Upcoming Games: UE on September 4
Defeated DLSU 60-52, UE 54-45
Last Week: #9 - The Growling Tigers got a breakthrough week, moving into the fourth spot by defeating the team they were tied with, DLSU, and then watching the Archers fall to Ateneo while the Tigers beat UE. With three games to play though, UST will need to win at least two games to avoid a potential play-off for the fourth spot, should either DLSU or NU win out. If they're going to make it happen, it'll likely be through defense, as they held opponents this past week to an average of just 48.5 points.

Upcoming Games: ADU on September 3

Defeated JRU 71-65

Last Week: #8 - The Pirates lost three straight to close out the first round, leaving some to wonder if Lyceum had peaked. In fact, they hadn't, as they began the second round with a huge win against a team that defeated them prior, JRU, helping them tighten their hold on the fourth spot in the standings. That said, Friday's battle against Mapua will likely have a playoff feel, as a loss will cut their lead to just a paltry half game, and they'll have to do it with their second-leading scorer, Floricel Guevarra, suspended.

Upcoming Games: MIT on September 2, UPHSD on September 5

Defeated CSB 94-90, UPHSD 65-62
Last Week: #12 -After starting out 0-4, the Cardinals find themselves in striking distance of the fourth seed but the lingering question is whether or not Mapua can be taken seriously now. Of their five wins, four were by four or less points, with only one blowout (versus EAC). Two of their wins came against Perpetual Help, with both going down to the last shot. Thus, this game against Lyceum will be a huge test for them, though the odds are stacked in their favor with Floricel Guevarra out. Josan Nimes versus Chris Cayabyab ought to be an epic shooters' duel though.

Upcoming Games: LPU on September 2

Lost to CSJL 59-73, defeated EAC 78-70
Last Week: #14 -Like the Cardinals, the Chiefs are making a second-round surge, winning three of their last four games to move up to 4-7. Helping them to this point has been the return of Andrian Celada to his Mythical Five form from last season. He's scored in double-figures in the last six games, after doing it just twice in his first five games. Now averaging 17.5 points on 43.24 percent shooting, the Chiefs will need him to come up big when they play San Sebastian on Wednesday, and then look to send CSB down the standings next Monday.

Upcoming Games: SSCR on August 31, CSB on September 5
Lost to FEU 82-84
Last Week: #11- The Bulldogs have been Jekyll and Hyde-like in the second round, dominant against the teams below them, UE and UP, but below average themselves when they faced Adamson and FEU. They shot 45.6 percent and allowed 27.31 percent shooting versus the Maroons and Warriors, and then had that flipped on them to shooting 37.86 percent and allowing 41.86 percent against the Falcons and Tams. Needing to sweep their last three games to give them their best chance of making the Final Four, they'll first need to beat the defending champs, who not only have the best offense in the league, but are likely second or one-b when it comes to defense.

Upcoming Games: ADMU on September 3

Lost to MIT 90-94, UPHSD 57-63
Last Week: #7 - The second round has not been kind to the Blazers, as they've lost their last two games after starting out tied with Lyceum. The Blazers simply have not been able to hold on to the lead in late-game situations, despite a plethora of scorers. The reason? Rebounding, as they've been beaten on the boards by a total of 23 caroms in round two. Guys like Jan Tan and Ian Dela Paz simply have to contribute more in that aspect, even if it comes at the expense of their scoring.

Upcoming Games: AU on September 5

Lost to UST 52-60, ADMU 62-79
Last Week: #10 - It's been four games now in the second round, and the Archers have lost each one by an average of eight points. Fundamentally, the Archers simply are not playing well, coming in last in rebounds, assists and free throw percentage in the second round. It might seem like a cheap fix, but shaking up the starting line-up ought to be strongly considered, as the starters norm just 23 points, while guys like Jarelan Tampus and Almond Vosotros do most of the scoring.

Upcoming Games: UP on September 4
Lost to LPU 65-71
Last Week: #13 - The Pumaren system has not helped JRU either, as the team Derek Pumaren has been consulting with has also been on the skids as of late, winning just 1 of their last 6 games. The two teams share some common weaknesses: JRU is also last in their league in free throw shooting, making just 56.3 percent of their charities. The Heavy Bombers also turn the ball over a lot, third worst with 20.9 miscues a game. Both are stats the Letran Knights will look to take advantage of, with an early rematch of their round one encounter on Wednesday, as the Bombers hope to avoid a repeat of their 59-70 thrashing.

Upcoming Games: CSJL on August 31

Lost to ADMU 70-74, UST 45-54
Last Week: #15 - After two games of hot shooting versus La Salle and Ateneo, it seems like the Red Warriors have run out of shooting, totaling just 15 points in the second half versus UST. Their bad shooting was exemplified by JM Noble, who was the hero in those two games, seeing his shooting percentage fall from 43.75 percent to a dismal 11 percent versus the Tigers. If an upset is still on their mind, they'll need to better than the 30.51 percent overall as a team versus defense-oriented squads Adamson and Far Eastern.

Upcoming Games: ADU on September 1, FEU on September

Defeated CSB 63-57, lost to MIT 65-62
Last Week: #17 - The Perpetual Help Altas ambushed CSB for their second win, and nearly made it two in a row after another close fight versus the Mapua Cardinals. Key to their sharp play in recent games has been the improved shooting of Jett Vidal, who averaged 17 points, 4.5 triples on 33.3 percent outside shooting, but it's come at the expense of his two-point field goals, as he's made just two scores inside the arc in the past week.

Upcoming Games: LPU on September 5
Lost to CSJL 59-73, AU 70-78
Last Week: #16 - Already without Igee King for three games due to injury, the Generals recently added Milan Vargas and Joshua Torralba to their injured list. Though the emergence of Remy Morada helped soften the blow, they'll need all hands on deck versus the reigning NCAA champs on Friday, and even then it might not be enough, after setting the record for worst loss this season against the Red Lions, a 41 point drubbing.

Upcoming Games: SBC on September 2

Lost to ADU 51-64
Last Week: #18 - The last time Alinko Mbah blocked more than one shot? The last time Mike Silungan hit a free throw? The last time Jelo Montecastro had one or no turnovers? Scarily, the answer to all those questions is, "The first round."

Upcoming Games: ADMU on September 1, DLSU on September 4

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