Monday, September 12, 2011

The Final Four

Let the Playoff Begins!

Elimination is over, and now we have the Four Teams that standout.

Image by the UAAP Sports
Ateneo Blue Eagles
The No.1 team in this season 13-1 (W-L). They have the lethal combination of "The Phenom" Kiefer Ravena and the big Greg Slaughter. They also have the athletic Nico Salva in their line up, this is their own "Big Three", with their Champion Coach, Norman Black, this team will be the team to beat in this playoff. Why? Because they simply know how to be a Champion, they will not have a rare three-peat if they don't have what it takes. Their match up with UST Growling Tigers (No.4) will have a big obstacle to overcome, ADMU have the twice to beat advantage and this is huge for them. Can they win another Championship? and go for a very very rare and almost impossible four straight titles? The Blue Eagles create this "Dynasty" in this league and became the barometer of all the team that want to win a title. They have the talent and capability to win it, BUT! will the other three teams allow them to get it? How will the "Big Slaughter" keep his production in the paint and dictate the game inside the shaded area?

They were very strong in the first 13 games, they were almost unbeaten in the elimination until the No.2 seed (AdU Falcons) beat them in a convincing manner. How will the Blue Eagles react after they show vulnerability and possibility that they can be shut down too. Will it be a motivation for the Eagles to come for more or they already exposed their weakness?

But there are couple of big questions that the Blue Eagles need to answer for themselves, How hungry they are for another title run? and Do they have what it takes to get another title for the fourth straight time?

Image by the UAAP Sports
Adamson Soaring Falcons
They are the only team who beat the No.1 seed in this season. They are 10-4 (W-L) record before entering the playoff, their last win, is a big lift for them. They prove to themselves that it is possible to stop the No.1 team in this season. Nuyles, Alvares, and the rest of the team played a championship type of basketball in their last game. If there is one team that have a BIG CHANCE in winning the championship this season except for the No.1 Blue Eagles, it is the AdU Falcons. They have a great point guard, Lester Alvares, he knows how to operate the team and also produce points to help his team. His 3-point shots will be the X-Factor in every game in this playoff, because if they want to score in the paint they need to make their outside shot to open up the shaded area. Alex Nuyles need to be aggressive all the time to attack the basket to confuse the defense of their match up FEU Tamaraws (No.3). Their inside-outside attack will be very vital in winning their series and bring them to the Championship of the Season 74 of the UAAP.

Falcons are in a very high morale and in a strong momentum after their last game. Can they sustain this momentum? Can they be effective outside the rainbow territory? These are questions that will determine the game of AdU, because they can win but they have this tendency to collapse in the latter part of the game because of their eagerness to take threes.

There is no doubt that this team, this school, can win the championship this season. They just need to be as focus as they were when they met the Blue Eagles in their last game and believe in their selves that they can win a championship.

Image by the UAAP Sports
FEU Tamaraws
The Resilient team of the season. Tamaraws have a 9-5 win-lose record after the elimination. If there is one team that knows how to bounce back and win a ball game it is the FEU Tamaraws. They have the reigning MVP R.R. Garcia, he can lead the team, he is the heart and soul of this team. He will be the focus of the other team, they will do everything to stop Garcia. But, FEU have a lot of weapons that will give the other team a hard time to defend. They have the shooter Cris Tolomia, he is a clutch player, he is not afraid of shooting when the game is on the line. He can also attack the basket and be an inside threat too. They have Terrence Romeo that can be very explosive and take over a game, the back court combination of Garcia and Romeo is arguably one of the best, if not the best back court tandem in this season. FEU will be hard to stop if this two guards explode in the game. Their wing man JR Cawaling will also be another headache for the opposing team, with Aldrech Ramos in the middle this team will be a hard team to beat. Ramos needs to control the boards and be consistent in his mid-range shot. Defense will be a big factor for this team and Ping Exciminiano will be an asset in stopping a perimeter gunner of the other teams in the playoff.

Will the maturity and the leadership of Garcia and the veterans of this team lead their way to a championship? Can they make another come back and put their selves in a position that will possibly win them the championship?

FEU won their last assignment in the elimination and that can boost their hunger to go to the Finals one more time and win a title for their school. Tamaraws will always be considered as one of the formidable teams in the league, and they can win championship.

How will they manage to go back to the Finals? We know that this team can, but, how will they react with the improved AdU Falcons in their match up? Can they stop Alvares, Nuyles, Camson and the rest of the Falcons? How will Garcia lead his team to the Finals?

Image by the UAAP Sports
UST Growling Tigers
They are the Dark Horse in this season's playoff, with a win-lose record of 8-6, fourth best in the league after the elimination. I do believe that UST's first five is as good as the other line up of the other teams, with the two Jerics, Jeric Fortuna and Jeric Teng in their back court they can compete with any back court of any team in the league. Fortuna, arguably the best point guard in UAAP, he can dictate a game phase, his distribution skill and his ability to produce point will be a major lift for his team in this playoff. How he control his team will be very crucial in every game, he will be the focal point of the Growling Tigers and he needs to trust his teammates and get them involve in every offensive set they will make. Jeric Teng "USTeng" the outlaw of this team, his guns should be ready in every game, the team needs his outside shots and his aggressiveness in the offensive side as well as in the defensive side. The team needs an overall effort from Teng. Chris Camus, the "Do It All" forward of the Tigers, they need him to win every game. Karim Abdul, they need the rebounding skill of this big guy, if he control the boards with Camus, UST will have a big chance of winning any playoff game. 

This will be a good match up for Abdul, he will go against a bigger guy the "Big Slaughter" of the Blue Eagles, Greg Slaughter, Can he out rebound the big guy of Ateneo? How will he defend the paint with a bigger challenge?

The only questionable with the Tigers is their second line up, their bench, How will their bench help them to win every ball game, Paolo Pe, the always ready Kevin Ferrer and the rest of the bench guys, how will this  back up help their team and put the doubters in silent. Will the first attempt of the Growling Tigers to stop the surging Eagles be successful?



No comments:

Post a Comment