And what better way to merge both basketball worlds is with a preview: let's see which NBA teams would wind up as the Pinoy college teams. There are 8 UAAP teams, 10 NCAA teams and 30 NBA teams. So for every college team, there's either one or two NBA teams. Let's begin! The order is via the winning percentage in the elimination round.
The UP Fighting Maroons (0-14; .000): Philadelphia 76ersNo NBA team would certainly go winless, although the Tracy McGrady led-Orlando Magic started like 0-19. With 82 games a season, that can't happen. The worst in an 82-game season? The Philadelphia 76ers the season after they traded Wilt Chamberlain. Guess what, the Sixers barely have players on the roster, and those players are barely NBA-level players. They're banking everything on the draft lottery. So don't expect a lot of basketball action this season, just ping-pong ball action. Too bad UP can't rely on a draft lottery.
The Mapua Cardinals (2-16; .111): Boston CelticsThe Cardinals were predicted to suck this year, with Josan Nimes, their owning scoring threat last season, leaving without any viable replacements, and with a rookie coach to boot. The Celtics lost not just one, but two players, and not just "players" but the Truth and the Big Ticket. Plus, they hired college coach Brad Stevens, who led the Butler Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA Championship Game appearances. Last time the Cs hired a college coach? It wasn't pretty: ask Rick Pitino.
The CSB Blazers (5-13; .278): Orlando Magic and Utah JazzThe Blazers have a new coach at the start of the season, and plenty of hope after almost dealing the mighty San Beda Red Lions to the last shot. All they had was those: hope and last shots, as they became the heartbreak kids of the NCAA. The Magic and the Jazz, two of the four NBA teams whose nicknames don't end with an "S", might start with close games this season (the Magic did had a 12-13 record early last season), but don't expect them to contend for the playoffs.
The Adamson Falcons (4-10; .286): Toronto RaptorsThe Dinosaurs are in the NBA wilderness. While Dwane Casey is a reputable coach, the Raptors are like the Falcons who were directionless for much of the season despite the brilliance of Leo Austria at the sidelines. Just what can the Raptors do if Amanda Bynes is hating on their team?
The JRU Heavy Bombers (6-12; .333): Sacramento Kings and Charlotte BobcatsSo who'd be the Paolo Pontejos of the PBA, who'd get pissed with the coach and quit? One good candidate is DeMarcus Cousins. Another are the Charlotte Bobcats, when Michael Jordan finally quits as an owner and teaches the kids a lesson or two in winning.
The Lyceum Pirates (8-10; .444): Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans PelicansThe Pirates shocked the local hoops world when they beat Letran, San Beda, UPHSD and SSC, all Final Four teams. Which crappy NBA teams can beat legit title contenders? The Blazers and the Pelicans. The Blazers are on the way up, and the Pelicans have a new nickname to match Anthony Davis' unibrow.
The Arellano Chiefs (8-10; .444): Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver NuggetsUnlike the Pirates, the Chiefs had a PBA Draft sleeper in James Forrester, and were tagged as the dark horses in the preseason. But Forrester would rather shoot from long distance than drive to the hoop, thus having a disappointing season. Which NBA teams are due for a bad season? The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggz, especially, are due to a freefall after an impressive run. The T-Wolves aren't really due for a bad season; in fact they're due for a good one, but it won't be this year.
The UE Red Warriors (7-7; .500): Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit PistonsThe UAAP version of the Chiefs are the Red Warriors. Both sporting Indian motifs (much to chagrin of the boys from Mendiola). UE won the Filoil preseason tournament which made them automatically a borderline contender. The Roi Sumang-Charles Mammie connection was almost enough for a semis appearance. The nearest NBA equivalent? Kyrie Irving and Andrew Bynum (HAHA) in Cleveland, and Brandon Jennings and Will Bynum... wait, he's a point guard, why not Andre Drummond in Detroit.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles (7-7; .500): Los Angeles LakersThis is a perfect fit. Both are glamour squads. Ateneans hate Bo Perasol; Lakers fans hate Mike D'Antoni. Kobe is injured to start the season; Kiefer is injured to start the season. Ateneans screamed "ANIM-O!"; Lakers fans screamed to the Laker Girls: "AH! NOM NOM NOM!" Ateneo failed to make it to the playoffs spectacularly; expect a meltdown in the final month of the regular season like what happened in 2005 for the Lakers.
The EAC Generals (10-8; .556): The Washington WizardsThe Generals aren't tagged as anywhere near as a dark horse this season, but they surprised everyone to a #5 finish: just a win short of the playoffs. The Wizards might just be team the dysfunctional city of Washington needs to perk up the politicians to do something. John Wall is gonna destroy every fantasy team that owns with with monster FG% stats (by "monster" meaning it makes kids -- fantasy team managers -- cry) but that wouldn't matter as that might even be what the doctor ordered for a Wiz team still looking for an identity in the post-Gilbert Arenas era.
Next: Playoff teams!