The first seven ball games for each colllegiate squad have been decided, which means were halfway through UAAP Season 80.
A number of teams have been impressive, while others largely underwhelmed. Same goes for the players, who either turned out to be studs or duds. FHM turns the spotlight on those who rose to the occasion:
Ateneo Blue Eagles (7-0)
It's hard to pick the best player from a superstar-less unit like Tab Baldwin's, but you can't overlook Ravena's solid impact. Import Chibueze Ikeh and Matt Nieto may have had significant contributions to their spotless record, but Thirdy is the leader of the flock.
Adamson Soaring Falcons (5-2)
The recruit's comeback was instrumental in Adamson ending the first round on a high note. Missing the first few games due to injury, the returning Sarr proved why he is the missing piece for the Soaring Falcons's perimeter-oriented assault.
Unlike Ateneo, DLSU has a bevy of candidates for its top performer: Aljun Melecio, Ricci Rivero, etc. Still, the gold standard is reigning MVP Ben Mbala, who is leading the race for the plum despite not playing in their intial two matches.
FEU Tamaraws (4-3)
Say what you want about his rough play, but the swingman has embraced the pressure that comes with being the alpha of this ragtag team. Known as an elite defender, Dennison is among the scoring leaders of Season 80 and can also make plays like this:
NU Bulldogs (3-4)
If he isn't topscoring for the pack, Alejandro provides a steadying presence as coach Jamike Jarin's extension on the floor. The fourth-year off guard has truly blossomed into one of the most consistent and all-round forces in the tournament.
UP Fighting Maroons (3-4)
If you're going to tell your team, "Atin 'to! Papasok 'to!" in the middle of a timeout while your coach is drawing up the final play, then you have to be a man of your word. Desiderio did just that and continued his shooting display all throughout.
UE Red Warriors (1-6)
You can't possibly miss this guy's name after he recently put up back-to-back scoring outbursts, including a historic offensive feat. One has to watch the highlight reel of Pasaol's 49-point game against the defending champions to see our point.
UST Growling Tigers (0-7)
The prized Cameroonian is the lone bright spot for the winless team, and his dunks are one of the few reasons why UST fans still watch their games.