Defending champion Far Eastern University (FEU) and 2014 champion National University (NU) are aiming for a fourth win when they face separate rivals today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Tamaraws, with a 3-2 win-loss record, will face the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in the second game at 4 p.m. after the Bulldogs against the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons match at 2 p.m.
FEU will be playing without Ron Dennison who is serving a one-game suspension for being ejected during the Tams’ last game against UP. The Tamaraws previously beat University of the East and UP.
“More than our focus on UST, we will spend more time on ourselves correcting things and hopefully we will come out better,” said FEU coach Nash Racela.
FEU will be relying on Raymar Jose, Prince Orizu and Monbert Arong in their game against UST.
The Growling Tigers (2-3) are keen to avoid another defeat after losing to NU (68-75) last week.
“We really need to win because if we lose, we’ll go deeper below the team standings. It’s very important to get our acts together,” UST coach Boy Sablan told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “The players were demoralized the last time they lost but tomorrow we’ll be ready.”
UST will be leaning on Henri Subido, Jon Sheriff and Louie Vigil to score a third victory.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are aiming for a back-to-back victory when they play against the Fighting Maroons. NU (3-2) will be relying on Matt Salem, Jess Dipotado, Alfred Aroga, Mohammad Salim, and Jay Jay Alejandro.
“You cannot overlook them and their team standings doesn’t reflect the way they play,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said. “We should play good defense especially on their perimeter players.”
The Fighting Maroons (1-5) will be relying on Anthony Harris, Kyles Lao, Henry Asilum, Jett Manuel, Dave Moralde and Paul Desiderio.
Ateneo De Manila University and De La Salle University made a call to their respective communities to wear black during the games on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, to signify their position on a number of issues.
“This is particularly in light of the considerable amount of sentiments and convictions already expressed by various sectors of both the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University communities in opposition to the possible Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the growing number of extrajudicial killings/ summary executions in the country,” Ateneo President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin SJ said in a statement.