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  1. UAAP Basketball" Double-double Performers

    Can anyone help me?

    I don’t have the answer to this trivia: Who was the most recent player to register a triple-double in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball competitions?

    Perhaps my friend Pong Ducanes of Imperium Technology Inc. can be of help since he keeps all the UAAP cage stats since the start of the 21st century.

    A triple-double is established when a player gets at least a 10 in any three of the five statistical categories, be it in points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocked shots, during the same game.

    This Hoopster’s interest in triple-double performances in the UAAP cage hostilities came about after a prominent player from the rival league National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) turned in the trick recently.

    Earl Scottie Thompson, a third-year shooting guard with the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta who earned NCAA Most Improved Player honors a year ago, collected 15 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the Altas’ 73-65 victory over the Aguinaldo College Generals last July 11 in Season 90.

    The triple-double feat of 6-foot Thompson, who a year ago earned NCAA Most Improved Player honors despite being plagued by back problems, was the first of its kind in three seasons.

    Bruising frontliner Calvin Abueva, who’s now with the Alaska Aces in the professional Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), amassed 21 scores, 20 boards and 10 dimes during the San Sebastian College Golden Stags’ 77-62 shellacking of the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals on September 10, 2012.

    In the ongoing UAAP wars (entering tomorrow's final first-round playdate), there were five instances wherein a player came close to recording a triple-double.

    Mark Juruena of the University of the Philippines got nine points, 10 rebounds and six assists in an 86-75 loss to Ateneo de Manila University last July 23.

    Both Jason Perkins (25/10/4) and Jeron Teng (15/12/4) flirted with a T-D during De La Salle University’s 97-86 setback to arch nemesis Ateneo last July 20. In that same encounter, Blue Eagles playmaker Nico Elorde had nine points, seven reebies and eight assists.

    Ateneo’s meal ticket Kiefer Ravena, the UAAP scoring leader after the first round of the double-round elimination phase with a 23-point average, notched a tournament-best 38 markers (including 19-fo-25 from the foul line), dished out nine assists and plucked down six boards in a come-from-behind 93-91 overtime success against the host University of the East in the only OT game so far in the 2.5-month tournament.
    Meanwhile, there have been 17 instances wherein a player posted a double-double in points and rebounds. (Note that assists have been hard to come by as not once has a player recorded 10 doleouts in a game, the nearest being nine set by Ravena in the OT game against the Red Warriors.

    Here are the double-double performances in the UAAP this season (in descending order):
    1-Charles Mammie, UE – 18 points/13 rebounds vs. Ateneo, 91-93 OT, August 10
    2-Jansen Rios, Adamson – 20 points/10 rebounds vs. UP, 64-77, August 9
    3-Arvin Tolentino, Ateneo – 14 points/12 rebounds vs. UST, 63-61, August 6
    4-Karim Abdul, UST – 19 points/12 rebounds vs. Ateneo, 61-63, August 6
    5-Jeron Teng, DLSU – 25 points/11 rebounds vs. UP, 74-53, August 6
    6-Anthony Hargrove, FEU – 13 points/13 rebounds vs. Ateneo, 78-81, August 3
    7-Alfred Aroga, NU – 18 points/15 rebounds vs. UE, 57-55, August 3
    8-Anthony Hargrove, FEU – 14 points/12 rebounds vs. UE, 73-63, July 30
    9-Norbert Torres, DLSU – 14 points/14 rebounds vs. UE, 60-58, July 27
    10-Chris Newsome, Ateneo – 18 points/12 rebounds vs. UP, 86-75, July 23
    11-Jason Perkins, DLSU – 25 points/10 rebounds vs. Ateneo, 86-97, July 20
    12-Jeron Teng, DLSU – 15 points/12 rebounds vs. Ateneo, 86-97, July 20
    13-Arvin Tolentino, Ateneo – 14 points/10 rebounds vs. DLSU, 97-86, July 20
    14-Jansen Rios, Adamson – 13 points/13 rebounds vs. UE, 72-99, July 19
    15-Alfred Aroga, NU – 16 points/11 rebounds vs. UP, 70-59, July 19
    16-Karim Abdul, UST – 11 points/11 rebounds vs. NU, 40-59, July 13
    17-Jason Perkins, DLSU – 11 points/11 rebounds vs. FEU, 77-82, July 12

    Rios, Tolentino, Abdul, Teng, Hargrove, Aroga, Torres, Newsome and Perkins own a pair of double-doubles. Only Tolentino and Aroga are in their first season.
    Tags: henry liao, uaap Add / Edit Tags
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    Philippine Basketball
  2. UAAP Basketball: Surprises at the Top

    Three teams that supposedly were in a rebuilding mode – Ateneo de Manila University, National University and Far Eastern University – are actually dominating Season 77 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball competitions.

    Ateneo completed its first-round schedule with a league-leading 6-1 record, having lost just to National University (64-60) last July 26.

    Many preseason prognosticators have belittled the Blue Eagles’ Final Four chances this season, let alone a Finals appearance, after losing several key players to graduation, including regulars Ryan Buenafe and Juami Tiongson and big men Franke Golla and JP Erram.

    Coming of a non-Final Four finish following a five-year title streak, the Blue Battalion’s fortunes this year rest mainly on the shoulders of fourth-year hotshot Kiefer Ravena and veteran playmaker Nico Elorde, and because its roster is dominated by rookies who, no matter how celebrated some of them were at the high school level, lack the experience to duke it out with battle-scarred athletes from other schools.

    But the 6-foot Ravena has taken the UAAP by storm, averaging a league-best and career-high 23 points an outing, including a tournament-best 38 points in a come-from-behind 93-91 overtime victory over the University of the East last August 10 to pin the Red Warriors (2-4) with their fourth consecutive defeat, including a two-point for a third time, following a 2-0 start.

    National University was expected to go through rough times with the departure of its three-year meal ticket Bobby Ray Parks, a two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player awardee (2011 and 2012) who opted to bypass his final year of varsity eligibility to try his luck in the United States.
    To the surprise of many, the transition period has been far from unsettling.

    The Bulldogs share second place with reigning UAAP titlist De La Salle University at 5-2. Only Far Eastern University and the Green Archers have gotten the best of them.

    To compensate for the scoring void left by Parks’ departure, the team has banked on its gang-type rebounding and strong defensive effort.

    Beanpole Jeth Troy Rosario, a 6-7 power forward from Cagayan who is in his final season, is pacing NU in point production at 11.3 ppg along with 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists every time out. Joshua Angelo (Gelo) Alonino, the 6-foot, four-year floor general, is contributing 11.0 scores, 4.4 boards , 1.7 assists and 1.43 steals per contest. Team skipper Glenn Khobuntin is playing the best ball of his collegiate tenure and owns norms of 8.4 points, 8.0 reebies and 2.1 dimes an outing.

    And then there’s the play of rookie import Alfred Dong Aroga, the anchor of NU’s defense and rebounding efficiency .

    Arugain lang ng mabuti si Aroga and he’ll go places. At this early stage, the 6-7 Roman Catholic from Cameroon, who was ineligible to play a year ago due to residency-related issues, is averaging 10.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and a tournament-best 2.29 blocked shots a game.

    Defense is the passport to NU’s success so far as three men, including Rosario and Aroga’s co-Cameroonian backup Henri Joel Betayene, rank among the top 10 in blocks.

    Far Eastern University also appeared to be in transition with the loss of its top two scorers from last season, 2013 UAAP MVP Terrence Romeo and R.R. Garcia, who both recently completed their professional debut in the Philippine Basketball Association.

    But the Tamaraws still can count on foxy guard Chris Tolomia and veteran frontliners Mark Belo, Carl Cruz and import Anthony Hargrove.

    Belo, whose improvement can be traced to his participation with the gold medal-winning Philippine national team to last year’s Southeast Asian Games, is contributing 17.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.5 feeds in six appearances.

    Tolomia, the third man in Tams’ old backcourt triangle that also featured Romeo and Garcia, is hitting at a 15.5-point clip along with a team-high 3.7 doleouts and 3.7 reebies. Cruz is tallying 8.8 scores and 5.0 rebounds and Hargrove owns averages of 8.7 points and 7.5 rebounds.

    At 4-2, FEU is on track to join La Salle and NU at second place with a victory over winless Adamson University (0-6) on Wednesday, August 13, in a game that was postponed last July 16 due to poor weather conditions. (UE and the 3-3 University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers will face each other that same day.)

    For God’s sake, the University of the Philippines Maroons finally broke a three-season, 27-game losing streak with a 77-64 decision over the Soaring (?) Falcons last August 9 to complete its first-round sked at 1-6.
    Tags: henry liao, uaap Add / Edit Tags
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    Philippine Basketball
  3. Aroga: A Diamond in the Rough

    His name did not ring a bell a few months ago but Alfred Dong Aroga, one of the two Cameroon imports on the National University team, now commands respect among his peers in the ongoing University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball competitions.

    This elongated kid with raw skills whom I watched play in a prominent preseason collegiate circuit last May has evolved into a huge inside
    presence for the Bulldogs in Season 77. So long as the size of his hat does not grow any bigger , he could quickly develop into the next – if not a better version of – former NU import Emmanuel Mbe in a short time.

    According to some collegiate hoops followers, NU has become a better team this year without its former meal ticket and offensive wizard Bobby Ray Parks, who bypassed his final year of eligibility last summer after three seasons with the school, and four-year veteran Mbe.

    Parks and Mbe helped lead the Bulldogs to a UAAP Final Four appearance the past two years but the team did not reach the finals both times, including last campaign when they were the top seed after the eight-school, double-round elimination phase.
    No way did the departure of Parks make a better team. I will take Parks any time on my team and chances are he will make it a much-improved unit.

    My take on NU’s frontrunning start (currently a share of first place with another surprising leader Ateneo de Manila University) has to do with a better constructed gameplan by Bulldogs bench boss Eric Altamirano.

    It’s the gang-type rebounding and a strong defensive effort that have propelled NU to the top thus far.

    Four players are averaging eight or more points per game, including three in double digits. The team is outrebounding the opposition, 45.7 rpg (No. 2 in the league behind De La Salle University) to 37.3, for the biggest differential among the eight schools.

    On defense, the Bulldogs are surrendering just a UAAP-low 49.3 ppg, including a 62-25 romp of hapless Adamson University last July 30. The University of Santo Tomas ranks a distant second in fewest point allowed at 59.0 ppg.

    NU gave up just 40 points to the UST (59-40), 59 vs. the equally inept University of the Philippines (70-59), 57 vs. La Salle (a 57-55 loss), 60 vs. Ateneo (64-60), 25 vs. Adamson and 55 vs. UE (57-55).

    In blocked shots, NU is tops, too, at 4.67 a game – far ahead of second-placer Ateneo with 4.00 bpg.

    Beanpole Jeth Troy Rosario, a 6-7 power forward from Cagayan who is in his final year, ranks 10th in the league in point production with a team-high 12.2 clip. He also is seventh in rebounding with 7.7 rpg and is 10th in blocked shots at 0.80 bpg.

    Joshua Angelo (Gelo) Alonino, the 6-foot, four-year floor general, is contributing 10.7 scores, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and a team-leading and second league-best 1.50 steals per contest.

    Team skipper Glenn Khobuntin has also stepped up his game, especially his work off the boards. Off the pines, the 6-4 power forward is averaging 8.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and a team-best 2.3 assists an outing. The fifth-year vet owns the most rebounds in a single game this season with 16 caroms during a 64-60 triumph against Ateneo last July 26.

    Still, the biggest reason for NU’s early success has to be the play of 6-7 rookie Aroga, the anchor of the team’s defense and rebounding efficiency.

    Aroga, who was ineligible a year ago due to residency-related problems, currently ranks No. 1 in rebounding with 10.0 rpg and blocks shots with 2.17 bpg. A Roman Catholic from Cameroon, Aroga is also tallying 11.5 points a game on .475 (28-of-59) field shooting.

    Aroga’s backup, Henri Joel Betayene, also is norming 1.0 swats an outing, eighth best in the league.


    The bottom line: Defense and rebounding are two areas where they’re clicking for the NU Bulldogs so far.
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  4. UAAP Basketball: Top 10 Scorers

    Kiefer Ravena has yet to overcome his shooting slump but the Ateneo Blue Eagles can always count on him to make the big shots at crunchtime.

    In his last two games, back-to-back victories that have propelled the Blue Batttalion to a share of the leadership in the Season 77 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball festivities with surprising National University with identical 5-1 records, the 6-foot Ravena played the hero’s role.

    Proving to be one of the league’s top “clutch” players, the fourth-year guard knocked in a pair of jumpers in the endgame that shoved Ateneo past Far Eastern University, 81-78, last August 3 and finished with a game-high 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes.
    Three days later (August 6), Ravena netted the tie-breaking, game-deciding jumper with 3.7 seconds remaining to power the Eagles to spine-tingling 63-61 decision over the University of Santo Tomas 93-2). He wound up with 17 markers, eight boards and four dimes in 36 minutes of service.

    Overall, Ravena is averaging 20.5 scores in six assignments to lead the UAAP scoring race going into the final three double-header play dates of the first round of the double-round eliminations. His shooting percentages are .369 (38-for-103) from the field, including .290 (9-for-31) from the three-point area, and .731 (38-for-52) from the free-throw line. He also is contributing 5.0 rebounds 4.5 assists and 1.50 steals every time out.

    On the flip side, the son of former professional player Bong Ravena and elder brother to Ateneo teammate and college rookie Thirdy Ravena has shot below .500 from the field in each of his last four appearances, a combined .288 (19-for-66) clip, after going 9-of-18 against Adamson University and 10-of-19 against De La Salle University to start the season.

    Kiefer is one of only three remaining players to score in double digits in every game so far this campaign, the others being the FEU’s fearsome twosome of Mark Belo and Chris Tolomia.

    Ravena has gone 22, 29 (a tournament high), 19, 13, 23 and 17 points for the Blue Eagles.

    Belo has scores of 20, 19, 12, 21 and 22 for a second league-high 18.8 average and Tolomia owns scores of 23, 14, 18, 13 and 15 for a third league-best 16.6 norm with the Tamaraws.

    Other players on the UAAP’s top 10 scoring charts are 4-UST’s Karim Abdul (5 games, 72 points, 14.4 ppg), 5-De La Salle’s Jeron Teng (6g, 83p, 13.8 ppg, .358 (29-of-81) FG pct., bouncing back with a season-high 25 points and 11 rebounds vs. UP for his second double-double of the season after a two-point (on a pair of free throws) effort against Adamson), 6-Ateneo’s rookie Arvin Tolentino (6g, 82p, 13.7 ppg), 7-Ateneo’s Chris Newsome (6g, 78p, 13.0 ppg), 8-De La Salle’s Almond Vosotros (6g, 75p, 12.5 ppg), 9-UE’s Roi Sumang (5g, 61p, 12.20 ppg) and National University’s Jeth Troy Rosario (6g, 73p, 12.16 ppg).
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  5. Seeing Red

    They were supposed to be a better, stronger, more talented team this season.

    6'6" Cameroonian import Moustafa Arafat was lined up to alternate with the powerful Charles Mammie. Swingmen Bong Galanza, Mark Olayon and Gino Jumao-as, and big man Chirs Javier are all a year older and more experienced.

    They brought in a veteran coach who has won at every level he has ever coached, the venerable Derrick Pumaren.

    And of course they still had arguably the best pointguard in the UAAP if not all of local college ball in Roi Sumang.

    They started out like gangbusters, shredding University of the Philippines and Adamson University to go up 2-0 and briefly lead the league standings.

    Then they went up against the top teams and suddenly they are below .500 with a 2-3 record. De La Salle and National University barely escaped them, as the Archers and Bulldogs outlasted the Red Warriors only by a combined four points in closely fought games. Far Eastern University however was less forgiving, winning by 10 markers.

    In each of these three losses the Warriors held a good enough lead at some point, brought on by the vintage Pumaren full court press. With the Pumaren press the pesky, long-armed and active UE players were able to get steals, force errant passes and score quickly in transition. That is how they established a 10-point lead against the Archers in the third period. And that is how they established a as much as a 14-point spread against the Tamaraws in the first half.

    Even when the press wasn't clicking on all cylinders they still had the vaunted outside shooting of Galanza, Dan Alberto and even RR De Leon. That was how they quickly turned the tables on the Bulldogs, overhauling as much as an eight-point deficit and going up by six midway through the fourth period of their game over the weekend.

    But there just seemed to be something missing from UE. They simply could not finish off their last three opponents even when it seemed they had them all figured out.

    One thing that doomed the Warriors was their inability to rebound and defend the inside in the homestretches of those games. Bulky 6'6" center Norbert Torres basically bullied his way for offensive rebounds and put-backs off missed Lasalle freethrow to overhaul that 10-point deficit and bring his Archers back into that game.

    Troy Rosario and Glenn Khobuntin did the exact same thing in their game, with Rosario getting a put-back off a missed NU freethrow, and one other near put-back, while Khobuntin grabbed a long offensive rebound and recycled the NU offense. Those failures to secure the defensive board resulted to NU getting three cracks off missed freethrows. Gelo Alolino eventually nailed the go-ahead trey that sank UE.

    Against FEU it became the Mac Belo show, with Belo taking it even against Arafat. Belo was all over the place and almost singlehandedly brought FEU that win.

    UE has the strongest rebounder in the UAAP in Mammie. So where was he in all this? Stewing in the Pumaren doghouse, probably because of his long-documented "attitude". One can only conjecture on that at this point since no one has said anything, even off the record, from the UE camp. Mammie however has experienced less minutes this season. Consequently he is not even among the Top 10 rebounders, quite a feat from someone who averaged 17 rebounds at one point last year, and had two games of 20 rebounds each. A guy might experience a shooting slump, but there is no such thing as a rebounding slump, unless you're getting fewer minutes.

    Mammie has lost minutes to Arafat. Although Arafat is averaging a fair nine-plus rebounds per game, he got most of those against the also-ran Maroons and Falcons. Without a strong presence inside, UE has a harder time getting out to run in transition, and of course tending both boards.

    That puts the onus on Sumang to hero-ball it with expiring shotclocks. Sumang's shot selection was no great shakes to begin with, and it has become worse this season with UE inexplicably abandoning the dribble-drive that is Sumang's unholy advantage over every UAAP perimeter guy. He just missed what could have been the layup that sent the game into overtime versus NU. In the motion game that the Pumarens apparently want to run, Sumang has had to move the ball around a lot instead of testing defenses with his dribble-penetration.

    What have his other teammates been up to?

    Galanza has proven unable to shoot on the move, needing to set up shop at the three-point arc and await kickout passes for the catch-shoot that is his specialty.

    Jumao-as can handle and drive but is a weak finisher versus big teams and does not have a reliable jumpshot.

    Olayon remains undisciplined and awkward when he tries to drive, a lot of times suddenly ...
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