Tigers eye crucial win vs WarriorsBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
University of Santo Tomas hopes to overcome its off-court distractions when the Tigers shoot for the second Final Four berth in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament today.
With the decision of their protest of a loss to Ateneo pending, the Tigers go for a crucial win against University of the East to avoid the complications of a playoff among three other teams still in semifinal contention.
“We’re ready for anything,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio. “We’re still focused and our goal is still to make it to the top two.”
The Tigers gun for a 10th victory in the 2 p.m. first game.
La Salle tries to fan its own Final Four bid when it battles Adamson at 4 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Adamson is really a strong team, they prepare well and I’m sure they want to play the spoiler’s role,” said La Salle coach Gee Abanilla. “Our team’s desire is different, but it will be tested [today]. We want this win badly.”
A ninth win will push the Archers ahead of the idle National University Bulldogs, whom they share fourth spot at 8-5.
Only Ateneo (12-2) has secured the No. 1 spot, which comes with the twice-to-beat bonus in the Final Four.
Meanwhile, the father of Ateneo player Nico Salva yesterday appealed the decision of the UAAP Board to ban him from the patron and players’ area for the rest of the season.
Amando Salva found his penalty excessive compared to FEU assistant coach Ronald Magtulis, who triggered a heated verbal exchange when he challenged Nico to a fistfight, according to witness accounts. Magtulis was slapped with a one-game suspension.
“I was just being a father—my son was threatened and I wanted to protect him,” said the elder Salva, who requested the Board to correct its “error in judgment.”
UAAP president Nilo Ocampo said yesterday league officials will review Salva’s appeal.