De La Salle University will be gunning for a sixth consecutive victory when it faces University of the East (UE) 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 currently no.1 Green Archers with a 5-0 win-loss record will be battling the winless UE Red Warriors in the 4 p.m. game after the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles vs University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons clash at 2 p.m.
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo said that they would treat the Red Warriors just like any other team though the squad is yet to score a win, “There’s nothing special in our game against UE. We are going to play our usual game,” Ayo said in a phone interview.
“UE has nothing to lose at this point that’s make them very dangerous so we really need to work hard in offense and defense. I’m glad all my players are all healthy. There are only two games left in the first round,” added Ayo.
The Green Archers will be banking on the talents of Jeron Teng, Cameroonian Ben Mbala, Kim Montalbo, Abu Tratter, Andrei Caracut, Jason Perkins and Thomas Torres in their attempt to stretch their winning run.
The Red Warriors’ veteran coach Derrick Pumaren, meanwhile, admonished his wards to remain positive.
“We just have to come out and unleash our full potential against La Salle. We’re not yet playing our full potential. I’m telling my players to stay confident despite the losses,” Pumaren said in a phone interview.
The Red Warriors will be leaning on big man Nick Abanto, Paul Varilla, Edison Batiller, Emil Palma and playmaker Clark Derigue.
In the other match, Ateneo will be aiming for a back-to-back victory and a fourth win when it plays against UP.
The Blue Eagles, who are coming off an 84-69 win over the Red Warriors last Saturday, are holding a 3-2 win-loss record. Ateneo will be led by Mike Nieto, Thirdy Ravena and Tony Asistio.
The Fighting Maroons, on the other hand, absorbed a slim 49-51 loss from the defending champion Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Sunday.
UP, under the tutelage of coach Bo Perasol, is aiming for a second victory after six games.
The Fighting Maroons will be counting on Dave Moralde, rookie Anthony Harris, Kyle Lao, Henry Asilum, Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel in their fight against Ateneo.