Ateneo eyes rebound after UST upsetBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
HOPING to move on from a shock loss, Ateneo tackles another dangerous opponent in National University in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament today.
Coach Norman Black said his Blue Eagles—who are coming off their worst game collapse in recent years—better bring their teamwork back against an upbeat NU side in the 4 p.m. battle at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We really didn’t play well as a team,” Black said after his four-time champions uncharacteristically blew a 19-point lead to drop a 71-70 decision to University of Santo Tomas last Thursday.
La Salle has started its season strong and the Green Archers try to keep the solo lead versus Far Eastern University in the first game of the blockbuster doubleheader at 2 p.m.
The Green Archers, led by rookie standout Jeron Teng, take on their first big assignment after disposing of University of the Philippines (73-68) and University of the East (67-59).
“We are still trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla. “But ultimately, we want to get better as the season progresses.”
The UAAP Board will issue an announcement this morning if today’s games will push through following the cancellation of yesterday’s matches due to inclement weather.
But tickets for the canceled matches featuring University of Santo Tomas versus University of the Philippines and Adamson against University of the East remain valid.
“Ticket arrangements for the affected games will be honored upon confirmation of the final venue and date,” the league said in a statement.
Over at the NCAA, the anticipated showdown between rivals San Beda and Letran got called off as well, along with the Mapua-Arellano tiff in both the juniors and seniors divisions.
NCAA management committee chair Fr. Vic Calvo said the league will soon announce when the canceled matches will be played.
Only the UAAP seniors games, however, got postponed as the junior games went on as scheduled yesterday morning with the defending champion Bullpups picking up their second straight victory.
Ralph Atangan, last season’s Finals MVP, had 19 points and eight rebounds, while Ralph Busa and Hubert Cani combined for 24 markers as the Bullpups routed the Adamson Baby Falcons, 75-50, at MOA Arena.
La Salle Zobel improved to 1-1 with Henri Subido collecting 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Junior Archers past the UE Junior Warriors, 78-67, in the other game.
NU’s senior squad also hopes to stay unbeaten with last season’s MVP Ray Parks expecting his teammates to play bigger roles.
“I have confidence in them,” said Parks, who starred with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks in the Bulldogs’ 90-55 dumping of the Warriors last Saturday.
“They know their roles, they know what they can do. All I have to do is to be the leader of the team. I can just be a facilitator, a general on the court or be another coach on the floor.”
The Tamaraws also go for a follow up of their thrilling 73-72 escape over the Tigers, where former MVP RR Garcia nailed the game-winner.