By Ivan Saldajeno
THE first round of the NCAA season is over! Let's now look at how the teams fared in the power rankings at the mid-season.
1. Arellano Chiefs (6-3)
|Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
Arellano closed out its first round schedule with two straight wins, including one against San Beda in the final game of the said round. The win against no less than the defending champions in their finals rematch made me convinced that the Chiefs, despite being two games behind the Letran Knights, should take the top spot in the mid-season rankings.
2. Perpetual Help Altas (7-2)
Perpetual Help also finished the first round with two straight wins. However, injury bug struck on Scottie Thompson as he injured his ankle in the 68-55 win against EAC and hurting his back in the 86-83 OT thriller against JRU. That prompted Coach Aric Del Rosario to pull Thompson out of the All-Star Game.
3. Letran Knights (8-1)
|Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
Letran finished the first round on a high note with an 80-77 win against Mapua. Despite a late comeback bid by the Cardinals, the Knights held on and reclaimed first place at the end of the first round with an 8-1 record.
4. JRU Heavy Bombers (5-4)
JRU pulled the biggest comeback win of the season by blowing a late 18-point Mapua lead and stole a 90-87 win. Tey Teodoro led the Heavy Bombers by scoring 13 of his 32 points in the final 3:30 of the game. Although they would lost to the Perpetual Help Altas to end their first round, the Heavy Bombers sent the game to overtime and withstood a late fourth quarter blast by the Altas.
5. San Beda Red Lions (7-2)
San Beda had a tough finish to its own first round campaign. The Red Lions nearly lost a 17-point lead before squeezing past San Sebastian while completely losing a third quarter lead off a comeback and lost to Arellano in their finals rematch.
6. Mapua Cardinals (4-5)
After a surge midway into the first round, Mapua lost its final two games of the said round to fall back to subpar .500. Mapua lost an 18-point advantage and lost to JRU while failing to complete a comeback of its own against Letran.
7. Lyceum Pirates (2-7)
Lyceum ended its first round on a high note with a 69-55 rout of EAC. Victor Nguidjol, Joseph Gabayni, and Wilson Baltazar led the way for the Pirates, who led the entire game.
8. San Sebastian Golden Stags (2-7)
Although losing to San Beda, San Sebastian made the match interesting. The Golden Stags cut a 17-point lead down to one late in the game, but they just lost steam in the end.
9. CSB Blazers (2-7)
Arellano was just too much for CSB. The Blazers conceded an early double-digit deficit and got troubled in the end.
10. EAC Generals (2-7)
After winning two straight games including the shocker over Letran, EAC lost two straight and slid back to the bottom of the power rankings. The Generals will now have to restart everything from scratch if they want to push for a Final Four bid.
(Note: The opinions of the writer do not reflect that of Dugout Philippines.)