We know you hear this every year, but this upcoming Final Four is primed to become one of the most intense in recent UAAP history.
It's composed of three legit contenders and one that's pure heart and hustle.
Here's a quick look at the match-ups and who we think will barge into the last dance.
Match-up 1: FEU Tamaraws (1) vs. DLSU Green Archers (4)
FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY TAMARAWS
Why they’ll dominate: FEU is hands down the deepest team in Philippine college basketball.
Their starting line-up includes league MVP RR Garcia, Defensive Player of the Year Al Ramos and a likely Mythical Five awardee in Reil Cervantes.
Their second unit, led by Rookie of the Year Terrence Romeo and national team member JR Cawaling, can start for any other team in the league. Yes, the Tamaraws are that deep. And it will only take a couple of big names with big games for FEU to run away with a win.
Why they’ll get upset:
The Tamaraws, as always, are susceptible to mental breakdowns. Remember their piss-poor fourth quarter against the Archers? The problem is Cervantes still lets his emotions get the best of him, Ramos sometimes looks disinterested and Garcia hogs the ball when his game isn’t going well.
The team needs more stability from their leaders, and it’s up to these three to provide it. And can someone wake up Cawaling? This kid hasn’t shown up all season. He rarely scores, rarely rebounds and never matters. All things considered, JR Cawaling is easily the biggest disappointment of Season 73.
DE LA SALLE GREEN ARCHERS
Why they’ll surprise: This year’s Archers are the antithesis of last year’s bunch. They scrap, hustle and run little rabid Tasmanian devils. Most of all, they never ever stop fighting.
You can build a big lead on them, but get complacent and they’ll be in control before you can say “comeback.”
That’s how they pulled the rug under Ateneo in the first round and shocked the Tamaraws in the second.
Why they’ll get destroyed: They’re out-experienced, out-talented and terribly outmatched. Would you take Simon Atkins over Garcia? Jovet Mendoza over Cervantes? Ferdinand over Ramos? Please. FEU’s simply better, and everyone who’s not blind or La Sallian knows it.
WHO WILL WIN: FEU will take it in one. They’re just too deep, talented and experienced for their opponents. Pound-for-pound, gang green is simply no match for their Morayta counterparts.
And before you point out that dominating win the Archers had a few weeks back, take a moment to realize that it was probably the worst thing to happen to La Salle this season.
They just gave themselves a do-or-die game against a team that’s angrier, nastier and hungrier for payback.
WORDS BY PAOLO AGULTO