UAAP Starting Five: Week 9
Only eight games were played this week as the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament resumed after the Halloween break.
All but one of the Final Four spots are now filled as Adamson University secured the third seed with Far Eastern University currently in fourth.
University of the Philippines is a full game behind FEU while National University will now need to have its prayers answered if it wants to get to the semifinals.
Now that the Final Four scenarios have been settled, here are the best players by position this week.
Center: Papi Sarr (Adamson University Soaring Falcons)
Papi Sarr just showed University of the Philippines who’s the boss.
The 6-foot-8 Soaring Falcon towed Adamson University in an all-important 86-70 win over the Fighting Maroons on Sunday putting up a gaudy 25-point, 17-rebound line.
Sarr’s dominance over UP helped the 9-4 Soaring Falcons seal the third spot with a game to spare in their schedule.
Forward: Arvin Tolentino (Far Eastern University Tamaraws)
The birthday boy delivered the goods for Far Eastern University when the Tamaraws needed it the most.
FEU needed to win its Sunday’s game against University of the East and the 22-year-old Tolentino heeded the call when the Tamaraws needed a closer.
With a 49-49 score board at the end of the third quarter, Tolentino completed a four-point play that completed the Tamaraws’ 21-8 run in the fourth that gave FEU a comfortable 70-57 lead with 3:27 left in the game.
FEU held on to win 79-63 to get to 6-6, and the fourth spot, with Tolentino finishing with 10 points, seven in the fourth, and seven boards.
Forward: Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo Blue Eagles)
Ateneo already secured the top seed in the league even before it faced University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.
That precedent, however, didn’t prevent Thirdy Ravena from putting on a show in front of the hapless Growling Tigers.
Ravena finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the Blue Eagles’ 102-83 victory over UST and produced one of the best highlights of the season when he jammed home a tomahawk with 2:22 left in the game.
Guard: Jerie Pingoy (Adamson University Soaring Falcons)
What a surprise, another Soaring Falcon.
When Sarr bullied his way through the UP interior, Jerie Pingoy orchestrated in and out of it.
And the game’s magnitude wasn’t much of a factor for Pingoy as he put up 15 points, eight assists, six steals, and zero turnovers against the Fighting Maroons.
Pingoy’s savvy play helped Adamson take an 86-70 win over UP as the Soaring Falcons calmly perched at the third seed and the 5-7 Fighting Maroons dropping to fifth.
Guard: Jasper Parker (Far Eastern University Tamaraws)
With his family cheering him on, and the Tamaraws eager to take sole possession of fourth place, Jasper Parker put on a show.
Parker led the Tamaraw charge against UE on Sunday with a season-high18 points and eight assists as his family saw him play at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum for the first time.
Ben Mbala (De La Salle Green Archers)
It’s kind of awkward to see reigning MVP Ben Mbala get relegated to the honorable mention spot.
Well the reason for that is Sarr’s game with Adamson had a bigger implication as the win led to the Soaring Falcons securing the third spot while Mbala’s Green Archers already had their twice-to-beat advantage in their possession even before the Halloween break.
Still, Mbala produced this week’s highest-scoring output with 30 points that went along eight boards.
Matt Nieto (Ateneo Blue Eagles)
As Ravena filled up the box scores against UST, Matt Nieto lit up from deep.
Nieto had 19 points in the Blue Eagles’ 102-83 win over UST and all five of his field goals came from beyond-the-arc.
Not too shabby for Nieto, who exploited the Growling Tigers’ lackadaisical perimeter defense.
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