Tigers, Maroons eye Final Four slots
University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas shoot for Final Four berths on Wednesday, while Adamson and La Salle try to stay alive in UAAP Season 82 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Fresh from crucial wins over the weekend, the Fighting Maroons and Growling Tigers look to avoid complications and secure their place in the postseason as they battle the National U Bulldogs and La Salle Green Archers, respectively.
With a 7-4 record, UP looks to carry the momentum of its 81-77 win over Adamson last Sunday and close in on the second semifinal bonus.
A UST win over La Salle in the 4 p.m. clash will seal a Final Four berth for both the Maroons and Tigers, who cruised to an 88-76 thumping of the Bulldogs last Saturday.
But a victory by the Green Archers (5-6) will only guarantee UP a playoff spot for a Final Four spot, while UST will have to try again.
“We’re not thinking about the standings of other teams,” said UST coach Aldin Ayo. “Our focus is on our next two games. The elimination round games are almost finished so we expect teams to be better and commit fewer mistakes.”
Far Eastern U tries to strengthen its bid for a Final Four spot as it goes up against an Adamson team teetering at the brink of elimination.
The Tamaraws played with urgency in an emphatic 81-60 victory over the Archers last Saturday and coach Olsen Racela hopes his team does the same against the Falcons, who are in the sixth spot with a 4-7 record.
“Actually all of our games are do-or-die games if we want to make the Final Four,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela, whose team occupies the No. 4 position with a 6-6 record.
“We play it possession by possession, not really worrying about how well or how bad we did in the previous plays, but focus on the next play.”
The Falcons need to sweep their remaining three games and hope that other results go their way.
And for Racela, the desperation that the Falcons feel makes them dangerous.
“There’s really no time to celebrate or feel sorry for a loss because you have to think about the next game,” said Racela. “We just have to prepare for Adamson, which is a well-coached team. If we follow the game plan, I think we will be okay.”
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.