THE first round of the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament has just ended with San Beda leading the way. Teams like Perpetual Help, Arellano, and Mapua have also made their moves while others have struggled in their campaign. As the second round unfurls, SPIN.ph takes time to grade the performance of the teams in the first round.
SAN BEDA (8-1) A+
The Red Lions’ loss to Jose Rizal University at the end of their first round campaign has not taken anything away from the accomplishment of San Beda at the halfmark of the season. Davon Potts and Donald Tankoua have been tremendous this season, but the two aren’t the only ones contributing as AC Soberano, Javee Mocon, Robert Bolick, and the rest have made San Beda to become one of the deepest teams this season.
PERPETUAL HELP (7-2) A+
The Altas’ run in the second place have come as a surprise for a team supposedly in transition following the graduation of Scottie Thompson and the entry of new head coach Jimwell Gican and consultant Nosa Omorogbe. Thanks to Bright Akhuetie, Gab Dagangon, and to their superb defense, the Las Pinas-based squad has observers talking Final Four for this squad.
ARELLANO (7-2) A
The Chiefs were expected by observers to be strong title contenders with a team led by Jio Jalalon, Kent Salado, and Lervin Flores. Still, the Chiefs’ loss to San Beda and Letran showed they still have a lot to do to prove that they are indeed one of the NCAA’s elite teams.
MAPUA (6-3) A
The Cardinals are right in the thick of things as they finish the first round in a solid position thanks to the play of Allwell Oraeme, CJ Isit, Darrel Menina, and Andoy Estrella. But like the Chiefs, Mapua has yet to beat the top contenders this season with its three losses coming against San Beda, Perpetual Help, and Letran.
LETRAN (5-4) B
The Knights have yet to put up a consistent run this season under new head coach Jeff Napa as they are in the middle of the pack after the first round. Rey Nambatac has been nothing but spectacular after scoring a season-high 40 points, but still needs ample support from his teammates.
JRU (4-5) C
A win over San Beda highlighted the Heavy Bombers’ first round campaign but the team has yet to meet the expectations of head coach Vergel Meneses. We have yet to see the true potential of JRU, which despite having a solid core led by Teytey Teodoro and Paolo Pontejos, has struggled halfway into Season 92.
Lyceum (4-5) B+
The Pirates have been the surprise team in the NCAA with the play of Mike Nzeusseu, whose double-double performances have given their fans enough reason to be optimistic come the second round. The emergence of Nzeusseu has also lightened the load on Wilson Baltazar, Jesper Ayaay, and Shaq Alanes.
EAC (3-6) B
The Generals have come up with wins to surpass their disappointing mark of only two wins last season, starting with a big win over Lyceum. However, EAC hasn’t able to sustain its good start, falling to five straight losses that left it at the bottom half of the standings.
San Sebastian (1-8) D
The Stags have lost eight straight games going to the halfway mark of the season, and the biggest reason is they been giving up the most points in the league. RK Ilagan has been a revelation for the Stags this season, but his effort has yet to generate victories.
CSB (0-9) D
Without a legitimate scorer in the team, the Blazers have struggled to put points on the board, finishing last in total points scored with Christian Fajarito as the team’s lone double-digit scorer with 10.1 points per contest.