DEFENDING champion De La Salle University will try to force a rubber match when it battles Far Eastern University (FEU) at 4 p.m. today in the Final Four of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Though nearly losing their title, Green Archers head coach Juno Sauler remains confident of his players’ tenacity to stop the Tamaraws that are carrying a twice-to-beat advantage.
“We have to take one game at a time,” said Sauler, who is gunning for his second title after winning his first in 2013 as a rookie. “I still believe we can defend our title. We just have to focus and play smarter offensively and defensively. We just have to keep finding good shots and continue to play in a team setting.”
De La Salle aims to emulate how the National University Bulldogs forced a rubber match by beating No. 1 Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles, 78-74, on Wednesday. Their sudden-death game for a finals berth is set on October 1 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers are expected to rely on swingman Jeron Teng, Almond Vosotros, 6’6 Arnold Van Opstal, Nelbert Torres, 6’5 Jason Perkins, Kim Montalbo, Thomas Torres and Julian Sargent, among others.
“We have made a lot of adjustments. By Saturday [today], we will be prepared. We want to play more games so we will do whatever it takes eventually,” said Teng.
La Salle lost twice (82-77 and 74-70) to FEU in the elimination round.