Playing off the SLAM PH Online PBA 100, we’ve put together UAAP Rank 2015, our countdown of the top 10 UAAP ballers, heading into the 78th season of the league.
We asked our writers at SLAM Online PH, as well as some of our friends on the college beat, to put together a list of their top eight UAAP players. We exempted rookies, because we want to see them play first, and only included guys who will be playing later this month.
(Sorry Mikee Reyes, Chris Newsome, Roi Sumang, et. al.)
For each list, we gave eight points to the player ranked number one, seven points to the player ranked number two, and so on. After putting all the numbers into an Excel sheet and tallying them up, we came up with this ranking.
Part one, which you’re reading right now, will have the honorable mentions, followed by the 10th and 9th ranked players. Come back tomorrow for part two, which will have the top eight players.
So, who just barely missed the cut, and who will begin our list of 10?
JR Gallarza – UP Fighting Maroons
1 point (1x 8th)
Season 77 averages: 11.6 points (36.7% 3P), 6.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks)
Diego Dario – UP Fighting Maroons
3 points (1x 8th, 1x 7th)
Season 77 averages: 7.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Can the UP Fighting Maroons shock the world and return to the Final Four? Who knows, but a pair of Maroons tallied three votes from our panel. In contrast, two other teams, Adamson and UE, didn’t have a player who received a vote.
Gallarza flashed an impressive do-it-all game last season, capable of dropping buckets on one end, while playing tough D on the other. Dario on the other hand was a potent off-the-bench spark-plug, and a great change-of-pace guard as Mikee Reyes’ back-up. If in fact UP goes far this season, we’ll look back at this list and say they should have cracked the top-10.
Prince Rivero – DLSU Green Archers
4 points (1x 5th)
Season 77 averages: 4.3 points, 3.8 rebounds
This incoming second-year big man was able to log an international stint as a member of the Gilas Cadets team that played in the SEA Games. That can only do him a world of good, as DLSU will be lacking veterans at the big man position thanks to the exits of Norbert Torres, Arnold Van Opstal and Yutien Andrada. Not only should he play a lot more than his 11.1 minutes average last season, he may even log time as the center in small ball line-ups.
#10 Kevin Ferrer – UST Growling Tigers
7 points (1x 4th, 1x 7th)
Season 77 averages: 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals
The fact that Kevin Ferrer played just eight games, and wasn’t at 100 percent in several others, is probably one of the big reasons why UST had a rough season last year. When he was on the floor, Ferrer shot just 25.3 percent from the field, including 8-of-46 (17.4 percent) from deep, contributing to his team’s woes. Ferrer got a pair of votes from our panel, but it’s a safe bet that if he’s healthy, he’ll be looking to go all-out in his final college season.
#9 Von Pessumal – ADMU Blue Eagles
12 points (2x 8th, 3x 7th, 1x 5th)
Season 77 averages: 9.1 points (38.0% 3P), 4.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists
Entering his final season, Von Pessumal is expected to have a larger role in his final campaign. With Chris Newsome having graduated, Pessumal will be expected to be Ateneo’s primary perimeter stopper. He’ll also be penciled in as their best floor spacer, having gone 30-of-79 last year. More than that, the team hopes he’ll be able to shoulder more responsibility on offense, to relieve some of the pressure from Kiefer Ravena.
Check back tomorrow for the top eight UAAP players, as voted on by our panel!