July 7, 2009
True Colors: Are U for real, AU?
(Note: "True Colors" is this space's NCAA column designed to have a slant, but not necessarily bias, toward schools other than that one located in Mendiola. --Howard the Duck)
So we've been through the obligatory opening ceremonies, that really nobody cares about that much. Those people in Araneta came to see hoops, not some gays hanging a la the Ringling Brothers came to town.
With that said, the ceremonies were fine, despite the generally bad reviews from the rest of the cyberspace bums. Like what were you expecting? Santino and company singing May Bukas Pa? And the Ringling Brothers?
The teams all have their opening trajectories by now, and with the wins and losses counting, their performance the rest of the season will be determined partly with what happened in late June-early July; after all, the Stags last year would've clinched a twice to beat advantage in the Final Four if they would've won at least one game from their 1-4 start.
The undefeated teams:
CSB: Despite all of the Blazers enrolled in the Richard del Rosario School of Free-Throw Shooting, the boys across from "Main" had a despicable free-throw shooting afternoon against the boys across the NLEX; or maybe it was due to their enrollment to that esteemed FT-shooting school was the cause. If not probably from the great distance traveled by the Danes, they would've not burned out at the end of the fourth and stole one. Isn't it ironic that Mapua's own woeful FT shooting game CSB their 2nd win? It's their best start since a 3-0 start in 2005, and we all know what happened there -- actually, maybe not everyone since the cyberspace bums care a lot about that team across Taft.
JRU: John Cena's long lost brother carries the cudgels for the school that specializes in tasty pastries. With virtually no major substractions from last year, Ariel Vanguardia finally might pay Frankie Lim back for what he did against the former in PLDT's PBA franchise some years back.
San Sebastian: Who says you need Buenafe and Bringas? At least in the NCAA you can have neither and still sport a 2-0 record, with one win coming from the school in which an alumnus also "supports" the school the Bringas studies(?) at.
One loss ain't that much:
San Beda: The Red Army was ecsastic with a blow out worthy of a glass of Guinness but it all came crashing (well, not really) down with a loss against their U-Belt neighbors. Was that a preview of the playoffs?
Arellano: We've been spoonfed to believe that AU is the second-strongest guest team behind EAC. They've proved the doubters wrong by winning against the Generals, and the school in which the General studied. Too bad the Red Lions don't lose back-to-back in the eliminations since Sam Ekwe -- and Sudan Daniels -- came to Mendiola.
AUF: As for the "weakest" guest school, who knew they would take CSB to three quarters, and beat the Generals assuring themselves of an un-winless hoops season. If conditioned, Matthew Carney will take the NCAA bigs to school. The Great Danes will make Scooby Doo proud.
Letran: What the Knights should avoid early in the game is by falling behind by a big margin, since RJ and Rey can't save them when the going gets tough that easily. They almost made against JRU and AU, but "almosts" don't count. And in the long run, the Knights must avoid falling behind early in the tourney with 6 of 10 teams fishing early.
EAC: So is this the best guest team? What? It seems they are playing in a Ryan Gregorio system: isolation plays for the full 40 minutes. Unless you have a James Yap and Kerby Raymundo, that system would take you nowhere.
UPHSD: With Bai out, Perps got DLSZ tactician Boris Aldeguer, and no one else. In basketball, a good coach in a good team would clinch the title, a bad coach in a good team a playoffs stint, and a good coach in a bad team delivers the same result of a bad team with a bad coach: lots of time fishing.
Mapua: Leo Isaac must've seen this a mile away, and Chito Victolero didn't really have any choice, but all is not lost for the Cards. A leader is all they need. Too bad KDP's in the Alaska Aces... on their injured list.
It looks like it's prime time for a San Beda-Letran finals series; with the Red Cubs blowing out the defending champions Staglets, and the Squires blowing out the Lighties. The other undefeated team LSGH, still has to face the "tough" squads; their wins were against guest AUF and nerds from Malayan Science.
(Spam: Think you know the UST Growling Tigers? Take the quiz. You'd need a Twitter account to continue. --Howard the Duck)