De La Salle University, unbeaten in eight games, aims to sustain its winning run when it collides against the University of the Philippines (UP) today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers will face the Fighting Maroons at 2 p.m., followed by the match between the National University (NU) Bulldogs and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers at 4 p.m.
La Salle is coming off an 86-79 win over Adamson University on October 9 through the prowess of the 6’8 center Ben Mbala.
Mbala will lead the Green Archers against the Fighting Maroons with the help of Andrei Caracut, Abu Tratter, Jason Perkins, Kim Montalbo, Aljun Melencio and Ricci Rivero.
The Fighting Maroons are riding a winning momentum after beating Ateneo De Manila University, 56-52, and Adamson University, 70-66. UP is aiming to avenge its first round loss to La Salle.
“We have to play our best game against La Salle to have a chance,” UP coach Bo Perasol told The Manila Times via text message. “That includes starting well and keeping up with them all game long. The morale is naturally high because of those two wins but we can’t just depend on emotions. We need to follow the game plan and execute it efficiently.”
Paul Desiderio, Dave Moralde, Andrew Harris, Kyles Lao, Henry Asilum, Diego Dario and Noah Webb will lead the charge of the Fighting Maroons. UP, now holding a 3-6 win-loss record, has already matched the number of victories it posted last season after two straight wins.
In the second game, the Bulldogs are hoping to end a two-game losing streak—both against Far Eastern University—when they meet the Growling Tigers. NU has a 4-4 win-loss record while UST’s is 2-7.
Matt Salem, Jay-Jay Alejandro, Jess Dipotado, Nico Abatayo, Matthew Aquino and Cameroonian Alfred Aroga are expected to step up for the Bulldogs.
The Growling Tigers will rely on Henri Subido, Jamil Sheriff, Louie Vigil, Jeepy Faundo and Kent Lao to stop a five-game losing streak.