De La Salle University eyes to stretch its winning streak to five when it battles Adamson University today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Green Archers will take on the Soaring Falcons in the 2 p.m. game followed by the match between the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles and the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors at 4 p.m.
La Salle previously cruised past defending champion Far Eastern University (83-78), University of the Philippines (89-71), University of Santo Tomas (100-62) and National University (75-66).
Team captain Jeron Teng will lead La Salle’s campaign with support of rookie Ben Mbala, Ricci and Prince Rivero, Andrei Caracut, Thomas Torres and Julian Sargent.
The Falcons, on the other hand, are coming off two consecutive wins against the Ateneo Blue Eagles (62-61) and the National University Bulldogs (64-51).
“We should keep the game close and limit our turnovers,” said new Adamson coach Franz Pumaren through text message.
Pumaren led La Salle to five titles during his stint as Green Archers coach from 1998 to 2009.
Adamson will be relying on the 6’8 Cameroonian Papi Sarr, Terrence Mustre, Sean Manganti, rookie Robbie Manalang, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Frederick Tungcab, Kristian Bernardo and forward Dawn Ochea.
Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles are expecting a tough match against the Red Warriors. “We are a little bit wary because UE is a very dangerous team right now. They are going to fight for first win,” Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga said.
“We both came from a loss,” he added. “I’m very sure they will give their best and we must be ready.”
The Blue Eagles, who lost to Adamson last Saturday, are holding a 2-2 win-loss record. Ateneo will be leaning on Mike Nieto, Thirdy Ravena, Toni Asistio, Chris Porter and Arvin Tolentino as they take on the Red Warriors.
UE is still winless in four games.
“I’m still optimistic and keep telling the players to stay positive. We just have to play aggressively in defense and offense. Despite those losses, I told the players to keep playing tough,” said Red Warriors coach Derrick Pumaren.
UE will be relying on Paul Varilla, Edison Batiller and Nick Abanto in warding off the Blue Eagles.
The Red Warriors suffered loss to the Fighting Maroons last Wednesday.