NCAA seniors basketball end of elimination ranking prediction

Would you believe that the two-week break from the collegiate basketball preseason leagues came like a breeze and a few days from now the 2009 season of the NCAA would commence?

I almost forgot to put out the necessary prediction rankings that I am compelled to cram this.Not to fret though as I already have an overview of how I would rank the ten teams for the coming season.

This time around, I would be doing things differently since I foresee that competition would be tight. Just like tour cycling, I would classify the teams into three groups: the lead pack, the peloton, and the trailing group.

The lead pack

1-3. Jose Rizal Univeristy, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, San Beda College

These are three strongest teams on paper and they would most likely battle for the top three spots with JRU being the frontrunner at the end of elimination. I have to emphasize the end-of-elimination disclaimer since anything could happen in the playoffs.

Anyway, with an experienced core bolstered by a behemoth in Joe Etame, the Heavy Bombers look primed for another finals appearance. But out to spoil Jose Rizal's party are SSC-R and SBC.

The Golden Stags have a bumper crop of rookies that play like veterans, which makes up for their relative youth. What remains to be seen is whether they could deliver when it really matters.

With a revamped starting lineup, work is cut out for the Red Lions. But that does not mean they will be pushovers this season as they go for their fourth straight seniors basketball trophy. Testament that they mean business when they won the 2009 Nike Summer League.

The peloton

4-7. Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Mapua Institute of Technology, Arellano University, Emilio Aguinaldo

Any of these four teams could make it to the final four provided breaks go their way. Every game matters to them or they might find themselves spending an early vacation in a quite lengthy calendar.

CSJL gets the inside track because Louie Alas always has an ace up his sleeve. This season he has two in siblings Kevin and Jun Alas. And do not forget the pair of RJ Jazul and Rey Guevarra.

MIT has a lot of potential despite getting a virtual overhaul. Gone are Kevin dela Peña, Neil Pacual, Ian Mazo, and coach Leo Isaac. Jonathan Banal is sitting this season out as he recovers from his ACL injury. How the rest of the Cardinals would fare is worth watching as they now employ a more aggressive approach in offense.

Meanwhile, guest teams AU and EAC could make it with the core of the NCRAA lineup getting the green light to play.

The trailing group

8-10. College of Saint Benilde, Angeles University Foundation, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta

The three teams rounding up the list may not make it to the next round, but they could pretty much play the spoiler's role which could foil the top teams' playoff runs.

I am going out on a limb here and predict that CSB would do better than virtual unknown AUF. I might be showing a little green here but based on their preseason performance, the Blazers were showing lots of promise.

Since I have not seen the Great Danes, I could not say anything about them.

As for UPHSD, it is garbage in, garbage out as head coach Boris Aldeguer would only rely with Bai Cristobal's leftovers.



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