Frantic UAAP Final 4 footrace
The four-team race for the two remaining Final Four berths heats up this weekend with La Salle, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern U and University of Santo Tomas all taking the floor at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With Ateneo already sealing a twice-to-beat bonus and Adamson also poised to grab the same incentive, the spotlight will be on game pitting UP and UST on Saturday as well as the FEU-National U battle on Sunday.
Riding high on a three-game winning streak, the Fighting Maroons clash with the Tigers at 4 p.m. in a crucial match that could determine the Final Four hopes of the two squads.
With a 6-6 record just like FEU, UP can put one foot in the next round, especially if the Tamaraws lose to the also-ran Bulldogs on Sunday.
The mission is simple for UST: Win to stay in contention.
The Tigers are nursing faint hopes of reaching the next round after losing to the Falcons last Wednesday.
But a victory over the Maroons could rouse them back into the battle for the Final Four, although they would still need to beat Ateneo on Wednesday for a chance to reach the next round.
The Falcons begin the weekend hostilities with a 2 p.m. duel with the University of the East Warriors, who have long been eliminated from the playoff race.
But the game is crucial for Adamson as a win will guarantee the Falcons a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
Although they’ve been putting in impressive performances the past couple of weeks, the Maroons will have their hands full against a desperate UST team, which hopes that rookie sensation CJ Cansino won’t be sidelined by the foot injury he suffered late in the loss to Adamson.
“We need to win so we just have to do whatever it takes,” said a limping Cansino in Filipino after the loss to Adamson.
The Tamaraws will be up against an NU team that bombed out of contention last Wednesday following a loss to La Salle. But taking into account its up-and-down season so far, the Tamaraws may have a far tougher outing against the Bulldogs, whose youthful core has shown flashes of brilliance this season.
The battle between fierce rivals Ateneo and La Salle caps the weekend at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Eagles can close in on the top seeding with a win against the Archers, who are aiming to seal their entry to the Final Four.
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.