Crucial games up as 4-way tie looms in the UAAPBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A four-way tie at the end of the eliminations still stands as a possibility among teams tightly battling for semifinal berths in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
The league heads into the last two elimination playdates this week with Ateneo (12-2) still the only team assured of a Final Four stint, thus leaving University of Santo Tomas (9-4), Far Eastern U (9-4), National U (8-5) and La Salle (8-5) to shoot for crucial wins and avoid a four-team deadlock at 9-5.
“We’re not even thinking about the scenarios, our mind-set is still to get the top two,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
The Tigers hope to get a lift from the UAAP Board, which is set to tackle their protest of the game they lost to the Blue Eagles 68-66, last Saturday.
League commissioner Ato Badolato already turned downed on Monday the Tigers’ protest, which questioned the goal tending call on UST center Karim Abdul and the non-call on Ateneo coach Norman Black’s oncourt outburst in the last seven seconds of the game.
But the Tigers raised an appeal to the UAAP Board, which had already ordered a replay of one controversial game this season.
The Tigers take on the eliminated University of the East at 2 p.m. on Thursday, before the Green Archers clash with Adamson at 4 p.m.
“Our goal right now is just to win against Adamson, whatever happens after that is beyond our control,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla.
The Tamaraws and the Bulldogs battle anew on Sunday after their second-round game was nullified by the Board due to FEU ace RR Garcia’s “inconclusive” buzzer-beater.
Meanwhile, the league banned the father of Ateneo’s Nico Salva from the game venue’s patron and players’ area this season after an altercation with FEU assistant coach Ronald Magtulis, who was also suspended for one game.
Early this month, the mother of UST player Melo Afuang got banned for the rest of the season after hitting Adamson’s Roider Cabrera on the head.