De La Salle University and National University (NU) coaches have instructed their wards to go for the kill in their respective do-or-die games in the Final Four of University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday. The Ateneo vs. NU match is set at 2 p.m while the La Salle vs. Far Eastern University (FEU) battle is set at 6 p.m.
The defending champion De La Salle University Green Archers forced a rubber match through a lopsided 94-73 win against the FEU Tamaraws on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We’re still going to use the same game plan,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler.
Swingman Jeron Teng who finished with 25 points in that game is expected to lead La Salle anew with Norbert Torres, Almond Vosotros, Julian Sargent and Jason Perkins, among others.
“I’m thinking about our seniors. I don’t like them to leave the team yet, so we really need to win to play more games. I dedicate this game to them,” said Teng.
La Salle got 30 points from the 46 free throw attempts because of FEU’s 33 fouls.
Eric Altamirano, coach of NU that is the No. 4 squad in the Final Four series said that he would encourage the Bulldogs to maintain their impressive outside shooting.
“We just have to play consistent all-throughout although I’m expecting the Blue Eagles to come out really strong in this do-or-die game. This is very important for all of us,” Altamirano told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “If we can’t beat them, our win last Wednesday means nothing.”
The Bulldogs beat the Blue Eagles, 78-74, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum, behind the 20 points of Jayjay Alejandro. The win also forced a sudden-death game for the championship berth.
Besides Alejandro, NU will lean on 6’7 Cameroonian center Alfred Aroga, playmaker Gelo Alolino, Glenn Khobunting and 6’6 center Troy Rosario against Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, Chris Newsome and Arvin Tolentino.