Far Eastern University (FEU) will be gunning for the first Final Four spot when it collides against University of the East (UE) in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 men’s basketball tournament today at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws will face the Red Warriors at 4 p.m. after the 2 p.m. game between De La Salle University and Adamson University.
The Tamaraws, occupying the top spot with an 8-1 win-loss record, are one win away from securing the first Final Four berth.
“We have to double our effort because we really need this win to stay in Final Four contention. At least a playoff berth for a spot in the Final Four,” Red Warriors coach Derrick Pumaren told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “FEU also needs to win against us to get a Final Four slot that’s why we’re expecting them to play hard.”
Pumaren will bank on Paul Varilla, Chris Javier, Nick Abanto and playmaker Edison Batiller in their battle against the Tamaraws.
FEU coach Nash Racela, on the other hand, will rely on Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, Antonio Inigo, Roger Pogoy, Raymar Jose, Russel Escoto and Alfrancis Tamsi in their campaign to clinch a Final Four berth.
Last Wednesday, no.2 team University of Santo Tomas was denied outright entry into the Final Four by Ateneo De Manila University.
The Growling Tigers lost to the Blue Eagles 80-74 but remained at No. 2 spot with an 8-2 win-loss record.
Meanwhile, De La Salle University is aiming for its sixth win when it takes on Adamson University. The Green Archers are presently occupying the fourth place with 5-4 win-loss record while the Blue Eagles are no.3 with 6-4 win-loss record.
The Adamson Falcons are at the very bottom of the standings with 1-9 win-loss record.
JOSEF T. RAMOS