University of Santo Tomas goes for a title sweep of Ateneo in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League today just a month after the Eagles captured their fifth straight UAAP crown at the expense of the Tigers.
Hoping for a different series outcome this time, the Tigers will lean on another strong defensive game against the Eagles in Game 2 of the best-of-three title series at 4 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
“Of course we want to get back at them (Eagles),” said UST gunner Jeric Teng. “We also want (Jeric) Fortuna and (Melo) Afuang to get a championship before they graduate.”
Earlier, UAAP juniors champion Far Eastern University and NCAA juniors titlist San Beda clash in a benefit match at 2 p.m.
The Eagles—led by Kiefer Ravena, Nico Salva and Greg Slaughter—swept the Tigers in two games in the UAAP championship series last October.
But UST assistant coach Estong Ballesteros, who called the shots for the indisposed coach Pido Jarencio in Game 1, thinks the Tigers have learned their lessons well since the title debacle.
“We’re now playing very good defense,” said Ballesteros. “During the UAAP, we tend to relax in our defense.”
The Tigers downed the Blue Eagles, 82-76, in the series opener last Tuesday where Kevin Ferrer unloaded a game-high 18 points. UST also beat Ateneo, 77-66, at the start of the Final Four last week.
Karim Abdul also delivered with 12 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers, while Teng added 12 markers and dished out five assists.
“We’ll try to make some adjustments,” said Ateneo assistant coach Gabby Severino. With a report from Randolph Leongson, Contributor