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4 points from UAAP hoops Wednesday

MANILA, Philippines — A big win by Adamson and a tough loss for UP really take away some of the shine of the early season luster. La Salle was going to win but for a while, they didn’t have it easy.

Here are four points to take away from the UAAP men’s basketball matches last Wednesday, October 4.

Watching Alvin Pasaol is like watching Danny Ildefonso during his time in NU

A virtual one-man wrecking crew. We can say that even before Pasaol dumped 49 points on La Salle in a 106-100 loss by his UE Red Warriors. No disrespect to teammates of Alvin or Danny, but this is one darn good player playing on some real bad teams.

Danny later on had Lordy Tugade alongside him but for a while there, he was this one dude making a case for NU day in and out. Pasaol is like that and is the closest thing the UAAP has to a Calvin Abueva; a tough hombre who can play on both ends of the court and doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. He is fearless even of Ben Mbala; he just throws himself in there.

As of today, Pasaol is second in scoring with 20.0 (Ben Mbala is leading by a whopping 33.5 points per match). He is also grabbing 4.3 rebounds, and dishing 1.3 assists on top of 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks a match. His numbers would be better but he oft gets into foul trouble with all his unnecessary roughhousing.

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I’m not sure if that game also qualifies as a shootout as Mbala scored 39. The Kiefer Ravena-Roi Sumang shootout is one. This one though was more of watching Pasaol score on almost everyone thrown at him by La Salle.

The Warrior King deserves better than this.

That game winner should do wonders for Sean Manganti’s confidence

A putback and a defensive gem that turned out to be the 73-71 game winner for Adamson over UP. This is good not only for the Falcons, who came from behind to win, but also for Manganti.

As early as last year, I began anointing Sean as the second coming of JC Intal — this tall and wiry wingman with massive hops. Teases with so much potential but still unrefined during his early years. Much like Intal was until later in his college career with Ateneo.

Right now, Sean is averaging 8.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals; meaning he can get it done on both ends of the court. He is capable of putting up some good numbers. For this Fil-Am, it’s all about consistency and the steadiness that comes with age too.

Oh, UP

That’s with a sigh by the way. And I am still not backing down on my preseason prediction of the Fighting Maroons battling for two Final Four slots that will be disputed by Adamson, FEU, and UP (Ateneo and La Salle will take the other two). That was a tough loss though against Adamson.

Yes, it’s part of the learning curve but this isn’t a young team. They have a veteran team with a few young but talented players. They will need more hands on deck to help Paul Desiderio if they want to realize that.

But you have to understand that the game against Adamson could have also ended up as a UP win and everyone would be singing a different tune (and wondering what’s wrong with the Soaring Falcons instead).

It’s too early to write them off. It’s all part of the learning curve. Big game coming up for them when they play National University this Sunday.

La Salle is revving up for that big game

Nothing like emptying your bench and giving them some needed exposure before that big game against Ateneo this weekend. Coach Aldin Ayo fielded 13 players who need the playing time. While some quarters view the Green Archers as vulnerable — and maybe they are to a point —they are still the team to beat as long as Mbala is around. And they can only get better.

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