Unlike the uncertainty the last few weeks, with lower-seeded teams scoring upsets against the top-seeded teams, this week was a more logical one, with the top teams holding off the weaker opposition.
This week in the UAAP, Ateneo clinched the first twice to beat advantage berth, FEU clinched the second semifinals berth, Adamson and NU were eliminated from contention, UP is nearing the same fate, and La Salle is tempting the same fate.
In the NCAA, league leader San Sebastian didn't play a game, and Letran held off a pesky Arellano despite a majority of their big men fouling out at the end, thanks to a booming triple from RJ Jazul at the final minute.
#1: Ateneo Blue Eagles
Despite a big-time blowout against the hapless NU Bulldogs, the league-leading Eagles had to dig deep to avoid another humiliating upset against Adamson with a come from behind win. Who needs Rabeh Al-Hussaini when the Atenean guards such as Jai Reyes, Eric Salamat, Kirk Long and Eman Monfort are stepping up?
#2: San Sebastian Stags
With the schedule changes, the Stags were given a bye week. But hey, it's basketball, and this is not the NFL so they'd have to go down this week for not playing a game. Not their fault, though.
#3: FEU Tamaraws
The Tams punched their ticket to the Final 4 with a 12-point drubbing of the upset-minded Fighting Maroons. The Tamaraws had a balanced scoring attack with four players, one of them from the bench (the one and only, the hawtest PG in the Philippines today, Mark Barroca), scoring in double figures against their semifinals-clinching win against UP.
#4: San Beda Red Lions
It's getting boring with the San Beda vs. the guest teams. They'd always win by a margin of 30 points or more. In their game against EAC, San Beda even had a more balanced scoring attack against the Generals, with 5 players on double figures.
#5: Letran Knights
Not that far away are their "we'd deny-them-to-death/Ateneo is still our only rivals" rivals Letran Knights, two key wins, the more important of which is the one against the Arellano Chiefs. If the Knights and the Chiefs all lose their games against the top 3, the winner of their game would be #4, and thanks to Jazul who converted a game-winning three at the end, the Knights held off the new kids on the block.
#6: UE Red Warriors
In order to keep their twice to beat advantage hopes alive, the original heartbreak kids of the UAAP broke the hearts of the people at Taft with a smashbuckling win against the Green Archers. La Salle had no answer to Pari Llagas who scored the game-high 22 points. Even turning their backs when singing the alma mater won't help, I'm afraid, no matter what illogical excuse they'd give out.
#7: JRU Heavy Bombers
The boys from Kalentong won't make the NCAA race for the twice to beat advantage a two-team affair, not if John Wilson can help it. Wilson's 48 points buried the floundering hopes of CSB for a Final 4 berth, despite Wilson not getting enough help elsewhere.
#8: UST Growling Tigers
The Tigers pumped up their own Final 4 hopes by eliminated the Bulldogs in a big way, and that is for them to set up a much-awaited showdown with La Salle in the virtual playoff for the #4 seed. Khasim Mirza must use up his newly acquired moves in the paint for the Tigers to take off the monkeys off their backs.
#9: Arellano Chiefs
The Chiefs are not gone yet. But they made their lives a little bit tougher for they have to beat the top three teams now for them to tie, let alone overtake, Letran for the last semifinals berth. Honorable mention though to Gio Ciriacruz, who scored 31 points against Letran, and another 23 against the Great Danes.
#10: La Salle Green Archers
Is this the end of the road for La Salle? Or will a miracle happen and God will allow the bad boys from Taft one final shot for redemption? Will we see a 15th, even a 16th or even a 17th game of them turning their backs when it is time to sing (assuming you even know the lyrics) the alma mater song?
Adamson Falcons: Two heartbreaking losses against FEU and Ateneo eliminated their hopes of a Final 4 appearance. And to think people were giving them at most a top 4 ranking during the preseason.
UP Fighting Maroons: The Maroons are not out. They should win all of their games, and hope UST doesn't win some more.
EAC Generals: The Generals, despite their poor record, continue to impress as they take down another victim, this time the Perpetual Help Altas. With a long NCAA season, they still have an outside (and when I mean outside, outside the city limits) chance of barging in to the semifinals.
Player of the week: John Wilson (JRU). Check out his stat line against CSB: 48 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, all in 37 minute of action.