Can anybody stop La Salle?
Every team that La Salle has come across this season has been reduced to target practice.
And with a twice-to-beat edge already in the bag, coach Aldin Ayo minced no words about what the Archers are really after.
“We’re just focused on winning,” said Ayo. “Everything will be put to naught if we don’t win the championship.”
University of the East takes a crack at slowing the La Salle juggernaut when it stands in the way of the Archers and win No. 12 in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball today at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Three more victories and La Salle goes straight to the best-of-three championship finale, duplicating the Warriors’ feat of sweeping the eliminations during the 2007 season.
They’re clearly headed toward that direction following a 43-point blowout win over the UST Tigers.
“My players are feeling the pressure, but I keep on telling them to ward off the pressure with hard work,” said Ayo.
“For us, we still want to learn because until now, we’re still a work in progress,” added La Salle assistant coach Louie Gonzales.
The Warriors, their Final Four aspirations in peril, are out to prove they can salvage their bid after forgettable setbacks against Adamson and Ateneo.
“Our immediate goal is to crawl out of the hole,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren. “We got to be ready to compete and play with confidence.”
The Warriors are at 2-8 and a ninth loss ousts any team from Final Four contention.
Also in a must-win are the UP Maroons, whose resurgent second round got stalled by a narrow 63-60 defeat against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Sporting a 3-8 record, the Maroons need to beat National University Bulldogs in the other game to stay alive.
“I told them to forget that game and move forward,” said UP coach Bo Perasol. “We just have to keep on playing hard and never give up.”
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