Ateneo battles NU, eyes Final 4 bonusBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Ateneo is back on the winning track, but coach Norman Black thinks there’s more work to be done to keep his Blue Eagles on top.
After clinching a Final Four berth, the Blue Eagles hope to boost their bid for the twice-to-beat bonus against rejuvenated National University in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at 4 p.m. today at Philsports Arena.
Far Eastern University targets a share of second place versus eliminated University of the Philippines earlier at 2 p.m.
“There’s still a lot we need to work on,” said Black after his four-time champions recovered from a shock loss to also-ran University of the East with a win over Adamson, 79-72, last Sunday.
“The thing I always talk to my team about is being unselfish—that’s one reason we’ve been winning in the past—and always coming out and giving the effort on the defensive end. I want to make sure they don’t concentrate on offense, because offense can go up and down.”
Defense, indeed, should be on top of the Eagles’ list as they go up against NU top gunner Ray Parks, the reigning MVP.
An upset over the Eagles will give the Bulldogs (7-4) a full game lead over the fifth-running La Salle Green Archers (7-5).
But Parks, who’s coming off another sensational 32-point outing, maintains that teamwork kept the Bulldogs in strong contention for the Final Four.
“For me it’s not about the points,” the 19-year-old Parks said. “It’s really my teammates who helped me get those shots.”
The Tamaraws, running third at 8-3, also gun for a crucial win to keep pace with idle University of Santo Tomas (9-3).