August 10, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly: The 3 Ps and the exchange students

More mid-terms (or prelims for those who don't have mid-terms but call it prelims) stuff as the UAAP gears up for the homestretch. The part where the "other" school in QC cheers for their neighbors; the time the "tough" school gets dirty; the time that R. Papa Street, instead of being a haven of super special sandwiches is the scene of a crime; and UST is just flooded because the angels urinated.

The good:
FEU's RR Garcia
RR Garcia reminds me of Wowowee. No. I won't go for the obvious. FEU will the championship unless one of these things happens: 1.) He gets injured, 2.) The mafia shoots him, 3.) The mafia gives him tons of money.

Ateneo's Kirk Long
The stats won't tell you that Kirk Long is Ateneo's go-to-guy -- Ateneo has a more-or-less balanced scoring, with Nico Salva the only one in double digits -- but once Long has a long spell at the bench, the opponent would surely take advantage. Ask La Salle.

Special mention also to Eman Monfort who has continued on improving after his breakout performance last season.

Adamson's cardiac kids
Adamson and Ateneo are always compared to each other. Both schools start in letter "A," have the color blue as the school color and even have birds of prey as their respective mascots. In fact, the Falcons are like the poor man's Eagles, with a solid crew backed by a reputable head coach. But perhaps, like Ateneo, they'd have to find someone who will take charge in crunch time. But who? Alvarez? Camson? Nuyles?

The bad:
The Wonder Twins: Ferdie and Webb

Sometimes you'd wonder why Dindo Pumaren even allowed Ferdinand to suit up for the game. Have they ran out of players? The exchange student hasn't returned from Indonesia? Ferdie is on loan and the rupiah is still not fully paid? What? And don't ask me about Joshua Webb. Where is the exchange student from Mandaluyong? No, I'm not referring to La Salle Green Hills (he came from DLSZ). Or are these two plants from the mafia so that La Salle's opponents would win?

I won't use a doggie metaphor. Promise.
If the UAAP has a salary cap, the Bulldogs, with all of their uh... "purchases" (let's face it, La Salle did this too in the old days when DLSZ was more famous for their perky girls than their basketball team) are underperforming. They could've won against Adamson and UST, and they almost lost to UP (more on them later). Perhaps they are this year's Adamson last year, where the Falcons can't seem to catch a break and wound up a game behing UST in fifth place. The 'Dogs have the pieces; they even have an African manning up the middle. They'll just need to jell some more to finally let go of their "underdog" label.

(There, I said it. Sue me. LOL)

Three Ps to Win: Pido, Pe, Portuna (hahaha)
UST has been written off the playoff picture as soon as the opening day. But for one reason or another (mostly due to UE's woes, more on them later) the Tigers have found themselves in the hunt, but barely. The Tigers' chances rest on three people: Pe, Pido and Foruna. The rookie out of Ateneo HS Paulo Pe will anchor UST's interior defense when Camus needs a break. Coach Pido probably needs to tinker with the system since the current system is sorta not working (in 2006, the run-and-gun offense wasn't working so he slowed it down, which worked). As for the sweet-shooting Jeric Fortuna, after the UE win, every time Fortuna had more three-point field-goals than turnovers, UST wins. So, play smart, don't turn over the ball, and set up the shots.

The ugly:
Red Warriors' swan song?

You know this team is ugly when Paul Lee scores 27 and they'd still lose. Granted, UE may have lost some of their players, but they shouldn't be performing this ugly. What has happened? Does Lawrence Chongson have a grasp of what is happening? Can he utilize his players effectively? Are this season's Red Warriors just not that good enough? What?

You tax pesos at work
Sometimes you can't just feel sorry anymore for the UP Fighting Maroons. Prior to the Gregorios handling UP, the team very much deserved the "Fighting" monicker. Even if they don't win at least they made the opponents play hard. After the Gregorios, the team had fallen into a deep rut; it's like UP is the microcosm of the government, it never does anything right. This year was supposedly the year UP will rise up from the ashes, with a summer spent in the States, a hotshot recruit from the States Mike Silungan and the hotshot recruit from Mandaluyong Joshua Saret. With those recruits at least you'll hope for "some" wins but all we see are Oblation's balls.

Aboy Castro filing an indefinite leave of absence cum resigning did not help. A new coach at the middle of season almost never works, except when the new coach is somehow connected to the old system. Now what UP people can look forward to is for the basketball season to pitifully end so that it's cheerdance day. Hey at least they can win that, if that amounts for something.

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