Far Eastern University (FEU) will be shooting for its 20th title in the league when it goes up against National University (NU) in Game 2 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament best-of-three finals at the Araneta Coliseum.
The game is set at 4 p.m.
FEU holds a 1-0 edge against NU after taking the series opener via a pulsating 75-70 win last Saturday. The Tamaraws are just a win away of winning its first title in nine years. They last won in Season 68 when they posted a 2-0 (75-73, 73-71) victory over De La Salle University in 2005.
Overall, FEU has 19 titles, the winningest team in the league followed by University of Santo Tomas and University of the East with 18 crowns each.
FEU head coach Nash Racela will be relying on Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy and Alejandrino Inogo as well as the vastly improved and Final Four hero Mark Belo.
Tolomia played inspired and topscored for the Tamaraws in Game 1 with 15 points, making him as one of the top candidates for the Finals Most Valuable Player honors.
Pogoy and Inigo delivered 14 and 12, respectively, while Belo contributed eight markers and seven boards.
“Knowing NU, they have a good system, a good coach and good players. I’m expecting them to come out stronger in Game 2. So, I’m telling my players to treat this game as knockout game,” said Racela.
“We have to respect NU for playing tough this season. They didn’t give up and won three straight knockout games to reach this stage. Our defense and discipline will always be our key in winning the title,” he added.
NU, on the other hand, will be going all-out to force a deciding Game 3 on Saturday.
The Bulldogs last ruled in 1954 edition—their lone title. They hold the longest championship drought—60 years —in the league.
NU mentor Eric Altamirano is pinning his hopes on Cameroonian Alfred Aroga, Glenn Khobuntin and Troy Rosario to provide muscle in the paint.