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Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano


Who’s your Justin, Arana or Baltazar? Which has gone better, Diliman-to-Taft or Taft-to-Diliman? These are just a couple of questions we try to answer week-by-week in… Tiebreaker Times’ Pound-for-Pound Rankings!

This weekly list hopes to rank the best of the best players in both the NCAA and UAAP, using a formula accounting for points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, three-pointers made, turnovers, and games played, while also giving importance to wins or losses, weighted against their opponents.

So who turned in the strongest of showings from April 25 to May 1? Let’s get to it, shall we?!

10 – BRIAN LACAP – MAPUA CARDINALSNCAA-Season-97-Mapua-vs-San-Sebastian-Lacap Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

NUMBERS IN 1 GAME THIS WEEK: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 3-point made, 1 turnover
RANKING LAST WEEK: 8TH

Mapua was expected to contend, but not necessarily to clinch a top-two seed as well as a twice-to-beat advantage. In the same light, Brian Lacap was expected to contribute, but not necessarily to take the wheel for the Cardinals and never let it go. That makes it two weeks in a row now that Lacap has steered the red and gold to impressive wins, and that makes it two weeks in a row now that he finds himself among the top performers.

9 – RJ ABARRIENTOS – FEU TAMARAWSUAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UST-vs-FEU-RJ-Abarrientos-scaled Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 3 GAMES THIS WEEK: 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 3.3 3-pointers made, 2.3 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: Outside top 10

Consistency is the first and foremost thing RJ Abarrientos has to work on, but shining bright day in and day out is a challenge that only comes to stars. Just as FEU is playing its best basketball at the right time, the nephew of Johnny Abarrientos is slowly but surely figuring out when to take his shots, and when to make plays for his open teammates.

8 – JIELO RAZON – PERPETUAL ALTASNCAA-Season-95-UPHSD-def-CSB-Jielo-Razon Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 2 GAMES THIS WEEK: 9.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.3 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: Outside top 10

Perpetual is still alive and kicking in Season 97, and do-it-all Jielo Razon can take much of the credit for that (he won’t, but he can). While Kim Aurin has come up clutch for the Altas time and again, it’s Razon’s impact anywhere and everywhere that has kept them competitive in the first place. If he continues to walk this way, and dial up the effort and energy even more, then Las Pinas may very well have a Scottie Thompson-lite in its hands.

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7 – ZAVIER LUCERO – UP FIGHTING MAROONSUAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UP-vs-Ateneo-Zavier-Lucero-scaled Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 3 GAMES THIS WEEK: 14.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks, 1.0 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: Outside top 10

Safe to say, Zavier Lucero has slowed down by a bit, coming from his jet-fueled ascent in the first round. Nonetheless, the skills he already showcased remain there, and he has already proven he can give whatever UP needs from him. Right now, with the rest of the Fighting Maroons firing on all cylinders, Lucero, the glue guy may be what they need, but make no mistake, he can take over when the circumstance calls for it.

6 – EVAN NELLE – LA SALLE GREEN ARCHERSUAAP-84-MBB-DLSU-vs.-NU-Evan-Nelle-8320 Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 3 GAMES THIS WEEK: 11.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.0 3-pointers made, 1.0 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: Outside top 10

Well, there’s the stat sheet-stuffing former San Beda court general and NCAA MVP runner-up! Evan Nelle has finally gotten his bearings in the UAAP, and La Salle now has a pure point guard to set the table for Justine Baltazar, Kurt Lojera, and Mark Nonoy. A fully engaged Nelle may just be what their halfcourt offense needs to just come close to their elite defense, and maybe, just maybe, the Green Archers can shoot down second-seed and twice-to-beat UP.

5 – RHENZ ABANDO – LETRAN KNIGHTSNCAA-97-SBU-VS-CSJL-Ambohot-and-Abando Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 2 GAMES THIS WEEK: 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks, 1.5 3-pointers made, 1.5 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: Outside top 10

Rhenz Abando is yet to have a monster game to his name, but he has actually been much more consistent than erstwhile MVP frontrunner Justin Arana. The former UST star will more often than not score in double-digits, more often than not grab five rebounds, more often than not make good on a triple, and more often than not tally a ridiculous rejection each and every game. That consistency has allowed Letran to not skip a beat as they defend their title, and that consistency may very well earn Abando Rookie MVP honors.

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4 – JM CALMA – SAN SEBASTIAN GOLDEN STAGS

NCAA-Season-97-CSB-vs-SSCR-JM-Calma Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

(C) NCAA/GMA Photos

NUMBERS IN 1 GAME THIS WEEK: 22 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal
RANKING LAST WEEK: 1st

Losing in his one and only game and in the process, getting officially ousted from contention, docks JM Calma’s weekly points by a bit, but his last dance for San Sebastian was still a treat. Pounding in a double-double, he yet again proved to be more than capable and confident as an inside operator. We’d love to see more of those long-range missiles he had been launching last week, but those can most definitely come when he turns pro.

3 – ANGE KOUAME – ATENEO BLUE EAGLESUAAP-84-MBB-ADMU-vs.-UP-Ange-Kouame-9149 Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 3 GAMES THIS WEEK: 14.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.0 blocks, 1.7 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: 10TH

The MVP frontrunner did his darndest to carry Ateneo to a clean sweep for the second straight season. While his 21-point, 17-rebound double-double still fell short as the Blue Eagles lost for the first time in four years, it was still a continuation of the consistency Ange Kouame has shown throughout the tournament.

The 6-foot-11 big is still doing it all for the three-time champions, and it’d be really interesting to see how he bounces back, even in the face of another tough opponent in FEU powerhouse Emman Ojuola.

2 – MALICK DIOUF – UP FIGHTING MAROONSUAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-UP-vs-Ateneo-Maodo-Diouf-scaled Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 3 GAMES THIS WEEK: 13.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.3 blocks
RANKING LAST WEEK: Outside top 10

Malick Diouf was recruited to UP for one reason: to match up with Ateneo’s Ange Kouame. He did that, and more, as the Fighting Maroons put the first blemish on the Blue Eagles record since 2018. His long limbs gave the naturalized Filipino many, many problems, as even though the latter still had 21-and-17, he had to work for all of them because of the former’s effort.

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The Senegalese tower has been a force for all of the second round, and, together with “UP-nicorn” Carl Tamayo, provides a formidable frontline for Diliman. While his offensive repertoire is still a work in progress, his long limbs and mobile feet make him a menace at the defensive end, the perfect paint presence.

1 – JUSTIN ARANA – ARELLANO CHIEFSNCAA-97-AU-VS-UPHSD-ARANA Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

AVERAGES IN 2 GAMES THIS WEEK: 13.5 points, 23.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, 3.0 turnovers
RANKING LAST WEEK: 4th

29 rebounds. That’s it! That was more than enough to propel Justin Arana up, up, up in the air! One more and he would’ve stood alongside Allwell Oraeme, holding the NCAA record for most rebounds in a single game. Two more, and he would’ve erased the two-time MVP altogether! Cleaning the glass to the point that his hands were already doing a better job than Lysol, his monster numbers offset a big deduction to his weekly points due to a loss that eliminated Arellano from contention.

On a more personal note, the loss also disqualified Arana from the MVP award, even though his averages actually make him the, far and away, frontrunner. Still, all in all, this was a banner season for a young big who nearly feared his season lost because of a misdiagnosed knee injury. And again, 29 rebounds – that’s all you need to know to understand how he stood out this week.

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Prince of the Hill Week 6: Justin Arana gives all for Arellano ADMU AU Bandwagon Wire Basketball CSJL DLSU FEU MIT NCAA SSC-R UAAP UP UPHSD  - philippine sports news

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