Gonzalez, La Salle brace for all-important tiff vs UP
De La Salle has entered its most crucial stretch in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.
For a few weeks, the Green Archers have been a picture of stability as they stayed on steady ground in the third spot of the standings and even had a pretty good chance to secure the twice-to-beat advantage.
A disappointing 62-71 loss to Ateneo on Sunday, which also stopped a three-game winning streak, however, has put the Archers into a dangerous position of being out of the Final Four contention.
Such sudden turn of events entering the final few games of the eliminations made head coach Louie Gonzales wanting his squads to go back to work immediately.
“First thing that I told the boys when I went to the dugout is we have to move forward and take care of business on Wednesday. They know it,” said Gonzalez.
“Coming into the game on Wednesday we really need to work hard. So if we win on Wednesday, we will already know that we will face Adamson [in the Final Four].
But just in case La Salle drops its game against University of the Philippines on Wednesday, a three-way tie between UP, La Salle, and Far Eastern University will send the Green Archers to a fourth-place playoff provided the Tamaraws win their last game against Adamson.
The Fighting Maroons will automatically move up to third place because of a better quotient.
“But we’re positive. At least we were able to get Ateneo out of the rhythm. We forced them to play one-on-one. We were able to control their field goal percentage. That’s how you play a champion team. We have to grind them up to the final buzzer,” added Gonzales.
“Compared to the first game [against Ateneo], there’s a big improvement among the boys.”
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