Michael Abad is a second-year big man for the Cardinals. The 6-foot-4 center from Leyte appeared in only two games for the squad last season and is again facing an uneventful year unless he makes huge improvements to upstage Mapua’s main big men.
Of the Red Cubs elevated to the seniors squad this season, Abarcar is perhaps the most proven. The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 14.3 points and six rebounds in the NCAA juniors title series last season where he emerged as Finals MVP. A surplus of wingmen this year, however, could limit his playing time.
Nicknamed “The Beast” for his otherworldly athleticism and tenacity, the 6-foot-3 Calvin Abueva is the NCAA’s reigning Most Valuable Player. He led the league in scoring (20.6), rebounding (13.7), and was fourth in assists (3.9) although he also had an alarming league-high 5.6 turnovers. Now in his fourth year, the Porac, Pampanga native is expected to spearhead his squad to its first title in three years.
Rocky Acidre is the Chiefs’ starting point guard. Among the NCAA’s most durable players, Acidre averaged less than seven minutes of rest last season, registering 11.6 points, 3.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals. The 23-year-old Eastern Samar product also had a stint with Pacific Pipes in the PBA D-League.
After Sam Ekwe and Sudan Daniel, now it’s Adeogun’s turn. The 6-foot-8 Nigerian is expected to boost the Lions’ interior defense and rebounding, the way their two imports previously did. He was the subject of a perceived racial slur that led to the infamous brawl between San Beda and San Sebastian. The controversy notwithstanding, Adeogun definitely can play, a big man who owns a decent touch from the foul line. The Lions’ third import in a row could likely be the team’s sixth man off the bench.
At 6 feet 2 inches, Justine Alano is the smallest starting center in the NCAA but he uses quickness to make up for it. The 20-year-old undersized big man from Paranaque emerged as Perpetual’s second-leading scorer and rebounder last season with 8.4 points and 5.6 boards per game.
Alas has for the past two years led the Knights in scoring and steals, last season averaging 17.5 points and two steals. His steady performance helped him win a spot in the Mythical Five. After the end of last season, Alas attended a training camp with the Los Angeles Stars in the American Basketball Association.
Alas will find ways to make his presence felt, with either his burly frame or his fine touch from medium range. He contributed quality minutes as one of the back-ups in the frontline with an average of 3.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 2010.
Jeorge Allen, 24, is the Altas’ No. 2 small forward after Harold Arboleda. Even as a sub, the 6-foot-2 swingman from Angeles City finished third in the team in scoring last season with eight points on top of 4.5 boards in 19.8 minutes per outing.