ATENEO and University of Santo Tomas go at it one more time just over a month after their thrilling UAAP championship showdown.
The Blue Eagles take on a Tigers side aiming to avenge their recent title loss at the start of the final round of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League today at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Game 1 of the best-of-three series is set at 4 p.m., right after the knockout match for third place between San Beda and Southwestern University at 2 p.m.
The Eagles swept the Tigers in their UAAP title clash but UST showed it is ready to avenge that loss by downing Ateneo, 77-66, at the start of the league’s Final Four last week.
“We always play to win and that’s what we aspire to do,” said Ateneo assistant coach Gabby Severino. “Coming into the game, I think we’ll have to do some adjustments with (UST’s Karim) Abdul and (Aljon) Mariano.”
Severino will still call the shots until the end of the tournament even as Ateneo officially announced yesterday the appointment of Bo Perasol as its new head coach.
“Most likely I’ll watch the game from behind the bench,” said Perasol, who will formally take over on Dec. 1.
“It’s a good opportunity to redeem ourselves,” said Mariano, who averaged 13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Tigers in the round-robin Final Four. “We want to get back at Ateneo.”
Jeric Teng normed 18 points to lead the Tigers, while the Cameroonian Abdul had averages of 13.5 points and nine boards.
“The boys really want to win, they’re really after the championship,” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
Greg Slaughter (13.3 points) and Nico Salva (13) paced the Eagles in the semifinals, while Kiefer Ravena averaged 12 points, 6.3 assists and 1.3 steals. With a report from Randolph Leongson