UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas tries to keep solo second at the end of its first-round run today versus an Ateneo squad still dealing with how the balance of power has shifted in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
It will be a rematch of last season’s finals, but this time, the Tigers hold the advantage over the five-time champion Blue Eagles.
“More or less we’re desperate to win,” admitted Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena as the Blue Eagles still have only two wins to show in six outings.
The Tigers, who hold a 4-2 record behind unbeaten Far Eastern University (6-0), battle the Blue Eagles at 4 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
University of the East takes on winless University of the Philippines at 2 p.m., where the Warriors hope to pull away from a four-way logjam at 3-3.
Meanwhile, league commissioner Chito Loyzaga yesterday slapped a three-game suspension on referee Francisco Olivar Jr., who called a controversial unsportsmanlike foul on Adamson’s Lloyd Abrigo in the game won by La Salle, 70-67, last Wednesday.
Loyzaga said in a memo that Olivar “made an untimely decision to call a foul in the last 15 seconds of the game” and the call “resulted in an advantage to La Salle.”
While Adamson initially said it will only file a complaint on the officiating, the Falcons decided yesterday to request a replay of the game and a season ban of Olivar.
Adamson will formally file its request at the UAAP technical committee today.
The Falcons will clash with the streaking Tamaraws on the final day of eliminations tomorrow.
The Blue Eagles, win or lose, will wrap up their first-round campaign below the .500 mark for the first time in over a decade.