UP, Ateneo, UST eye early lead
The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons showed a lot of grit and poise in rallying past the La Salle Green Archers in their season opener in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
As much as those are good traits for a team to have, UP coach Goldwyn Monteverde would prefer not having to go through the wringer in picking up wins.
“I think we have to be more organized in our succeeding games. There’s no reason for us to play in a situation like that,’’ said Monteverde, whose wards trailed by double digits before pulling off a 72-69 nail-biter over the Green Archers last Saturday.
The Maroons will have a lighter assignment on Wednesday, where they hope to take at least a share of the early lead when they battle the Adamson Falcons at PhilSports Arena, where the league will have a heavy four-game card.Big men Carl Tamayo and Malick Diouf will again lead the Maroons, along with do-it-all forwards Zavier Lucero and James Spencer, against the Falcons, who dropped their opener against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.
“It’s a long season ahead. We will closely look at the areas where we need to improve more,’’ said Monteverde.
The Tigers are also hoping to grab at least a share of the lead but they will face longer odds.
Starring scoring machine Nic Cabanero, who opened the season with 33 points, UST takes on a talented and deep La Salle squad at 4:30 p.m.
Ateneo, last year’s losing finalist, is also in position to grab at least a share of the lead when it takes on National University at 6:30 p.m. The Blue Eagles are coming off a balanced performance in a win against Far Eastern U, which tackles University of the East at 11 a.m.
“I feel like this year is not going to be a simple formula to win games. Fortunately, we have good players and smart guys,’’ said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin. INQ
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