Aiming to solidify its hold of the top spot, Far Eastern University (FEU) guns for win No. 9 when it battles University of the Philippines (UP) today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The FEU-UP game is at 2 p.m. followed by the tussle between last year’s runner-up University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Ateneo de Manila University at 4 p.m.
FEU is in solo lead with an 8-2 mark, leaving defending champion De La Salle University, Ateneo and National University in a three-way tie in second with 7-3 each. UST and University of the East are in fifth with the same 5-5 while UP (1-9) and Adamson University (0-1) are already out of the Final Four race.
Holding a five-game winning streak including their 74-70 thrilling win against the Green Archers last Wednesday, the Tamaraws are heavily favored against the Fighting Maroons.
Mike Tolomia was instrumental in that win, nailing crucial free throws and a game-winning basket. He finished with 22 points five rebounds and three assists.
Besides Tolomia, FEU, who will be mentored by assistant coach Eric Gonzales, is also expected also to draw huge games from Mark Belo, Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz, Anthony Hargrove and Alejandrino Inigo.
Gonzales will call the shots for the Tamaraws as head coach Nash Racela flew to Spain to join the Smart Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff in the FIBA World Cup.
There’s no room for FEU to relax as the Fighting Maroons remain a threat and can pull off an upset based on their previous games.
UP displayed an imposing run in the first three quarters before surrendering a 65-77 loss to UST the last time out.