UAAP men’s basketball starts in two weeks and the first round schedule is already out.
While most teams got the chance to play against each other in the summer leagues, the initial stage of the season shall still feature that element of surprise. With the stakes now higher, we can expect all competing squads to showcase their full potential.
This makes the early goings of this very short tournamemt intriguing and exciting as we have seen a lot of upsets and thrilling matches in the past.
— GoArchers (@GoArchers) August 25, 2018
For the hardcore fan, every game of the season is treated with equal importance. But of course, there are still those matches that are considered as highly anticipated which would generate more casual interest due to media hype or the storyline surrounding it.
With that, we try to rank each of the first seven games of the Green Archers from least to most compelling.
7. September 23 vs UE
Who could not forget last year’s first round encounter when La Salle almost blew a big lead and allowed Alvin Pasaol to score 49 points. Well, the Red Warriors remain to be a young, rebuilding team so expect the Archers to still have the edge here.
6. September 19 vs NU
La Salle has had this team’s number for the past several seasons. Though the Bulldogs has significantly upgraded their talent this year and is considered a dark horse to make the Final 4, the absence of a huge, rabid crowd to cheer them on in a way makes this match less feverish.
5. September 30 vs UP
Another vastly improved team that is expected to make a strong push for a berth in the playoffs. The Fighting Maroons have some recent history of success against the Green Archers in the first round. You can surely bet that the ranking for this matchup will move way up come next year.
4. October 3 vs UST
The Growling Tigers are also a rebuilding team but any game against your former coach, especially if you add the offseason drama that led to his move makes this interesting to watch. This game promises to be intense and it is rather disappointing that it will be played at 2pm on a weekday.
3. September 9 vs FEU
It’s the first game of the season and many will be all eyes on this new-look Green Archers. Having their “other rival” Tamaraws as their opponent makes this an instant blockbuster.
2. September 15 vs Adamson
Given the personalities involved, we can expect drama to unfold in a game against the Falcons. With how things went down in last year’s Final 4, they are aching for some payback.
1. October 6 vs Ateneo
The tables have been turned. The Blue Eagles are now the defending champs and are heavily favored to repeat after a very impressive preseason. La Salle on the other hand has lost a lot of key personnel from last year and are now the underdogs. But as they say, when these two teams collide, throw away the stats because it boils down to who wants it more.