UAAP: Eagles not taking Tigers lightlyBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Coach Norman Black thinks Ateneo should watch out for an under-the-radar player when his Blue Eagles clash with the University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Thursday.
Black said Aljon Mariano, the UST forward who just returned from injury, might just give the Tigers a lift when the Blue Eagles shoot for a second straight victory in the first of a men’s basketball double-header at 2 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.
“The number one thing for me is how to stop Mariano,” noted Black. “No one is talking about him, but he has been consistent [since the preseason]. He also made spectacular moves against FEU, so we have to slow him down.”
La Salle also vies for a share of the early lead when the Green Archers take on the University of the East in the second game at 4 p.m.
The Blue Eagles, led by the seven-foot Greg Slaughter, kicked off their bid for a fifth straight championship with a 73-57 crushing of Adamson last Sunday.
Although his crew may be favored, Black said the Eagles expect a tough UST side vying for its first triumph.
“We really have to be ready to play,” said Black, adding that Slaughter must also help the Eagles slow down UST’s Cameroonian center Karim Abdul.
Abdul had 24 points in the opener, but the Tigers fumbled in the end-game and bowed to Far Eastern University in a heartbreaking 73-72 decision last Saturday.
“They (Tigers) should have won that one against FEU, so I’m sure they’ll try to come out and get their first win,” noted Black.
The Archers, meanwhile, try to follow up on their 73-68 triumph over the University of the Philippines where Norbert Torres, LA Revilla and blue-chip rookie Jeron Teng shone.
“With Jeron, we know what he can do and what he can provide us,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla. “But the 1-2 punch of Revilla and Teng is really good and I think we should exploit that also.”