Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Pressure defense and high octane offense were the key
for San Sebastian Cavite's emergence as the No.1 Team

For hardcore NAASCU fans this season can go down as the most exciting season and the most unpredictable one. Throw away those pre season predictions because as the games come the excitement never ends. For the record there were five teams who were at least on top or tied for first place during the first round.

At the end of the first round and after a roller coaster ride that saw four teams come out as the league leader, the San Sebastian College Recoletos de Cavite Baycats came out on top of the pack as they now sport the league’s best record with a 9-2 win –loss slate.

With Glen Bolocon and last year’s scoring champ Jerome Cenita out the picture, Coach Egay Macaraya transformed the new look Baycats into a run and gun pressure defense team. The main men for the transformation of the Baycats are Kris Lucernas, Ricardo Gracilla Jr. and Oliver Villareal. Lucernas and Gracilla are averaging 15.6 and 15.3 points respectively. Their intensity in the game, hustle and ball movement is hard to match. The only way you can beat the Baycats is for your team to out hustle them, out jump them and out sprint them which is easier said than done.

The AMACU Titan's in your face defense gave them countless wins

Archrivals STI College Olympians and AMACU Titans are at it again and are bound to meet each other in the final four or even the finals if both of them sustain their impressive runs. The Olympians are led by the troika of veterans Ramon Mabayo (15.4 ppg) Mike Cabangon (14.88) and Darryl Mendoza (10.3) and a bunch of new acquisitions with Arnold Danganan proving as the fourth man to average in double figures at 11.2 ppg. The only time the Olympians were tied for first was after the first day of the season when they beat the UM Hawks. They then suffered back to back losses to the Titans and the Baycats and has played catch up since then. They end the round at second place. The Titans was on top of the field for a while until they suffered losses to the St. Clare Saints and UM Hawks respectively. The team is led by a troika of guards who are able to shoot the lights out in every game. Robby Zablan who led this team to 2006 title together with Sta. Lucia draftee Chito Jaime, is averaging 14.33 ppg. He usually feeds the ball to the two shooters who have made their mark this season, Romard Avellana and Ace Gonzales who averages 17.1 and 16 points respectively. The Titans has found ways to win and is at third place at the end of the first round.

Richmond Sibal of St. Clare & Darryl Mendoza of STI College
in one of their rebound battles

The St. Clare Saints were on the verge of ending the first round on top until they were toppled by the STI College Olympians and the SSC Baycats as they dropped to fourth place. Leading their charge is former Juniors MVP Aries PariƱas whose single game career high of 38 points brought down the AMACU Titans. He is now averaging 18.64 ppg and is ably backed up by Philip Coronel and Raymond Sibal. The University of Manila Hawks were suppose to finish the round with the same slate with the previously mentioned three teams but was unfortunately ambushed by the Informatics Icons on the last day of the tournament. The team is led by scoring leader and 2005 rookie of the year Jun Napiza with 21.18 points per game. Chris Guimpatan is averaging 12 points per game while Ryeon delos Trinos is chipping in 11 points per game to support Napiza.

New Era's upset of the Baycats was hard to imagine

Rounding off the last three teams are the New Era University whose upset of the Baycats rocked the league. Ramel Pepito and Kenneth Isip lead the charge for the Hunters and are raring to go to make it to the final four. The Lyceum of Subic Bay sharks are just two games away form the final four teams and will definitely lean on the offensive prowess of Jessie James Collado, Lawrence Gapasin and Aron Pellico. Their big time win over the STI College Olympians will say that they cannot be taken for granted. The last team to make it to the quarterfinals is another newcomer- the Informatics Icons. The Icons will lean on the shoulders of Filamer Deximo and will most likely follow up their upset win over the UM hawks with another big time win over the rest of the field in the second round.

The CEU Scorpions, PLP Eagles, Holy Angel University Flyers and University of Manila Hardy Herons failed to make it to the second round.

The Informatics Icons had an upset on their own
when they beat the UM Hawks
on the last day of the eliminations

TEAM.........................W - L

SSC-R de Cavite..........9 - 2

STI College ................8 - 3

AMACU.......................8 - 3

STCLARE....................8 - 3

UM.............................7 - 4

NEU...........................7 - 4

LSB............................6 - 5

INFORMATICS............5 - 6

CEU............................4 - 7

PLP............................ 3 - 8

HAU........................... 1 - 9

UMAK........................ 0 - 11

Just to add, here are some of the unexplainable string of games that rocked the NAASCU

  1. UM beats St. Clare, St. Clare beats CEU, CEU wins over UM
  2. NEU Beats SSC that beat UM which won over NEU
  3. AMACU beats SSC that beats UM and UM won over AMACU
  4. CEU wins over LSB, LSB upsets STI, STI beats CEU
  5. UM beats LSB, LSB defuses Informatics, Informatics nips UM.
  6. St. Clare routs AMACU by 15, AMACU wins over STI by 11, STI wins over St. Clare by 40!

The unpredictability is the name of the game in the NAASCU. There are no sure wins in the NAASCU just sure fire down the wire excitement. Let us wait until the quarterfinal round is over.

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