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Maroons emerge No. 1 in Big Dance ranking

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Maroons emerge No. 1 in Big Dance ranking
Expect college rivals Ateneo and De La Salle University to figure prominently in The Big Dance of Pinoyliga.
Pinoyliga Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- University of the Philippines edged UAAP defending champion De La Salle University as the No. 1 collegiate team in the nation as the first The Big Dance ranking completed by a selection committee of the Pinoyliga was released on Wednesday, May 29.

The initial ranking was based on the unbeaten record of the Maroons in both the Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup, where they sport a clean 7-0 record, and the Filoil Ecooil Preseason Cup where they are 4-0 that included a win against the Taft-based team 89-77 last May 11.

La Salle, which recently captured the PBA’s D-League championship, is also unbeaten in the Pinoyliga Cup with a 7-0 slate but that setback to UP dropped the team from Taft Avenue to No. 2 in the ranking.

National University is at No. 3 despite its 5-2 card in Pinoyliga and 0-3 in Filoil, but the Bulldogs remain a dangerous team capable of competing at a high level because of its solid intact core of Mo Diassana, Reinhard Jumamoy, Ian Manansala, Patrick Yu, PJ Palacielo, Jake Figueroa and rookie Tebol Garcia.

San Beda University – the defending NCAA champion – and College of St. Benilde cracked the top five as the Red Lions occupy No. 4 while the Blazers are at No. 5 in ranking of the Pinoyliga.

“It’s an exciting time for Philippine college basketball as the first The Big Dance ranking is finally here,” said Pinoyliga chief Benny Benitez. 
“The selection committee of the Pinoyliga has put together an initial batch of college basketball programs that we feel are the 40 most competitive in the country.”

“A lot of the non UAAP and NCAA schools are also represented, but most of these (UAAP and NCAA) schools currently playing at Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup are ranked higher because they play for top programs,” added Benitez.

The goal in The Big Dance is to crown the top college program in a tournament similar to the US NCAA’s March Madness. The top 32 college teams will be invited to the Big Dance.

Interestingly, as far as the initial ranking is concerned, Ateneo’s rank is No. 18 while other schools were better like the non-UAAP and non-NCAA in Centro Escular University (No. 6) and Our Lady of Fatima University (No. 11).

The reason why the Blue Eagles are outside of the top 10 is because of their winless records in both the pre-season tournaments.

In the top 10 of the Pinoyliga ranking is Lyceum of the Philippines University at seventh, Emilio Aguinaldo University at eighth, Mapua ninth and University of Santo Tomas 10th.

Making it to the top 20 are Far Eastern University at 12th, University of the East 13th, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA 14th, Adamson 15th, Letran at 16th, Arellano University 17th, St. Claire 19th, Enderun at 20th.

Completing the top 40 are (from 21st 40th) Guang Ming, Manila Central University, Diliman Colleges, San Sebastian College, Immaculada Concepcion College, Olivarez Colleges, De La Salle Dasma, AIMS, Lyceum-Batangas, AMA, San Pablo Colleges, Perpetual Help-Laguna, University of Batangas, St. Dominic College of Asia, Philippine Christian University Dasma, University of Visayas, University of Cebu, La Consolacion, ICCT Colleges, Xavier and Ateneo de Naga.

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