UAAP Player Rankings 1.0: Ben Mbala lives up to hype

Basketball will always be a team sport. You win as a team and you lose as a team.

However, some players do more and contribute more to a team’s chances of winning (or losing). Some can be MVP candidates while others are integral members of the team.

So, let’s check who the best players in the UAAP are after 2-3 games have been played. For the player rankings, I looked at their team’s win-loss record plus their individual statistics when evaluating the best position for them. Of course, the rankings can and will change as the season progresses.

Now, welcome to the inaugural edition of FOX Sports UAAP Season 79: Player Power Rankings!

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1. Ben Mbala, DLSU

La Salle is unbeaten in 3 games and 2 of their wins came in convincing fashion. They’re able to use their “Mayhem” defense effectively because the man in the middle, Ben Mbala, is a force to reckon with. Mbala leads the UAAP in rebounds and double-doubles while being in the top 5 in points and blocks.

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2. Jerrick Ahanmisi, ADU

His last name is quite familiar in the PBA due to his brother, Maverick Ahanmisi of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. In the UAAP, Jerrick is making sure that he becomes well-known too, carving his own niche as a deadshot shooter. Ahanmisi leads the league in scoring, threes made and minutes played. More importantly, he helped the Soaring Falcons win 1 game already and he is looking for more wins.

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3. Jeron Teng, DLSU

Mbala will get a lot of credit for the dominating wins by La Salle, but he is not just a one-man show because Jeron Teng is also doing a decent job. Teng guided the Green Archers in their season opener with 28 points and a win over FEU. He has also shown more confidence in attempting jumpers — thanks to Mbala’s presence down low — even if they don’t go in often.

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4. Alfred Aroga, NU

Aroga is no longer the most dominant foreign student-athlete in the UAAP but he still produces solid numbers (13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks). Most importantly, Aroga plays decent defense and he does the little things that help the Bulldogs win.

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5. Thirdy Ravena, ADMU

Thirdy Ravena has had two games where he scored 17 points and those games ended in wins for Ateneo. In his 2nd game of the season, Ravena struggled with just 2 points and the Eagles’ lost. Do you see a pattern? Ravena needs to be involved offensively for ADMU to win and he does other things as well like rebound and play defense.

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6. Rev Diputado, NU

The second leading rebounder for NU is point guard Rev Diputado. He is averaging 8 boards a game (in the top 10) while also placing in the top 5 in steals. Diputado is also their 2nd top scorer after Alfred Aroga. He is a steady PG who plays tight defense and takes care of the ball well.

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7. Raymar Jose, FEU
The leader of the Tamaraws is not shooting well to start the season, but that has not stopped him from contributing. Raymar Jose is averaging 11 points and 9 rebounds, decent numbers and it appears that he is heating up. Jose recorded double-doubles in 2 straight games. Jose has also shown improved ball-handling skills.

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8. Bonbon Batiller, UE

Bonbon Batiller is doing more things for the Red Warriors this season but they are winless after 2 games. He leads UE in scoring and rebounding while also sharing the ball and getting steals. Batiller has definitely displayed more dedication to defense and rebounding. UE hopes that he can sustain this level of play all-season long.

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9. Renzo Subido, UST
The Growling Tigers have one win already thanks to Renzo Subido’s career game versus UE last weekend. Subido erupted for 26 points and 4 made threes. He followed that up with a decent showing of 18 points against DLSU, although Subido had 9 turnovers. He currently leads UST in scoring.

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10. Paul Desiderio, UP
After UP’s second loss, Paul Desiderio was disappointed because he felt that his team had a “losing mentality”. Tough to disagree with him because he leads them in scoring, rebounding, minutes played and effort. He simply wants his team to play their best and give their full effort. – By Rolly Mendoza

Honorable Mentions

· Aaron Black, ADMU

· Mike Nieto, ADMU

· J-Jay Alejandro, NU

· Robbie Manalang, ADU

· Louie Vigil, UST

· Jet Manuel, UP

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