Defending champion De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University will renew their rivalry as they cross paths anew on Sunday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The La Salle-Ateneo match is set at 11 a.m. while National University (NU) battles University of the Philippines in the opening game at 2 p.m.
Ateneo is currently in a four-way tie on top with NU, Far Eastern University (FEU) and season host University of the East with 1-0 each.
The Blue Eagles started their bid with a 79-57 demolition of Adamson University last Sunday. Skipper Kiefer Ravena fired 22 points on top of four rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block to lead the offense of Ateneo.
Arvin Tolentino and Chris Newsome also expected to back him up along with Nico Elorde and Von Pessumal. Tolentino and Newsome made their presence felt by scoring 12 points each while Elorde and Pessumal combined for 14 markers.
La Salle, on the other hand, wants to bounce back following its 77-82 painful loss to FEU.
In that game, Almond Vosotros scored 18 points while last season’s Finals Most Valuable Player Jeron Teng had 14 and Jason Perkins contributed 11. But it wasn’t good enough to match the intensity showed by the Tamaraws on both ends.
Slotman Arnold Van Opstal was limited to just seven points and nine boards while returning center Yutien Andrada grabbed three rebounds in 10 minutes of play.
La Salle, Adamson, University of the Philippines and Season 76 runner-up University of Santo Tomas are in the bottom half of the standings with 0-1 marks.
For starters, Ateneo holds a 23-18 against La Salle in their overall basketball match up.
La Salle was victorious last season, winning in the first round of elimination, 82-73, and in the second round via a 66-64 decision.