Eagles, Tams dispute solo top spot todayBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ATENEO coach Norman Black expects to see a hard-fighting Far Eastern University squad even if the Tamaraws claim they’ve been struggling in their recent UAAP games.
The Blue Eagles and the Tamaraws—locked in a three-way tie with idle University of Santo Tomas at 5-1—fight for the solo lead on the penultimate day of men’s basketball’s first round today.
The expected blockbuster rematch between the finalists of the last two seasons is set at 4:30 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
National University seeks solo fourth against La Salle when they clash at 12 noon.
Tickets for today’s matches will be sold separately.
FEU coach Bert Flores said he hopes that his Tamaraws, who are coming off a 73-70 decision over University of the Philippines, pick up their game even with hotshot guard RR Garcia playing through an ankle injury.
“Our games have been dipping,” said Flores. “I told Terrence (Romeo) to keep on working hard and involve his teammates more because RR has been struggling.”
Garcia, a former MVP, averaged only five points in his last two outings.
But Black thinks Garcia will be back in top shape in their showdown as both squads had a two-week layoff following the game cancellations last week due to inclement weather.
“RR will be okay by the time we play them,” said Black.
The four-time champion Eagles, who have been banking on the trio of Nico Salva, Greg Slaughter and Kiefer Ravena, aim to keep the FEU guards in check.
“The number one thing for us is to find a way to slow down their wingmen,” said Black, referring to Garcia, Romeo and Cris Tolomia. “At the same time, there’s (Anthony) Hargrove in the middle. We have to control him also.”