Far Eastern University (FEU) will try to recover from a frustrating loss, while Adamson University aims to bag a Final Four slot when they face their respective foes in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The defending champions Tamaraws, who lost 59-61 to the Falcons on Sunday, will face the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles in the first game at 2 p.m. followed by the match between the Falcons and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers at 4 p.m.
FEU coach Nash Racela said the goal is to reduce the number of turnovers, which they’ve had 27 during their lost to Adamson. Despite that setback, the Tamaraws remain No.2 with an 8-3 win-loss record and earned a Final Four slot.
The Tamaraws will be relying on Monbert Arong, Prince Orizu, Richard Escoto, Raymar Jose, Ron Dennison, Wendel Comboy, Kevin Evona and Axel Inigo as they collide with the Blue Eagles. A victory will strengthen FEU’s bid for the last twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
Ateneo, after halting De La Salle University’s 13-game winning streak on Saturday is currently No.3 with a 7-4 win-loss record.
“We just want to focus on every game, every quarter and every possession. We have to move the ball around,” said Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “We are not thinking about too much of getting into the Final Four. We just have to focus winning each game.”
The Blue Eagles will lean on Aaron Black. George Go, Matthew Nieto, Thirdy Ravena, Arvin Tolentino, John Wong and Tony Asistio when they face the Tamaraws.
Meanwhile, the Falcons are aiming for back-to-back wins and the last Final Four berth. Adamson is currently No.4 with a 6-5 win-loss record while National University is No.5 with a 5-8 record.
“The three remaining games are very tough. It’s a killer stretch for us that’s why we need a game like the one against FEU,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren.
Adamson will bank on the prowess of Sean Manganti, Papi Sarr, Jonathan Espeleta, Robbie Manalang and Terrence Mustre as they take on UST.
The Growling Tigers, with a 3-9 win-loss record, were already out of the Final Four race.