Ate­neo clashes with Archers at Big Dome

Manila Bulletin - - Travel Special - By WAYLON GALVEZ

Games To­day (Smart Araneta Coli­seum) 2 p.m. – FEU vs NU 4 p.m. – De La Salle vs Ate­neo

De­fend­ing cham­pion Ate­neo and La Salle try to put an­other chap­ter to their sto­ried ri­valry when they clash for the sec­ond time to­day in the 81st UAAP men’s bas­ket­ball to­day at the Smart Araneta Coli­seum.

Al­though the two teams will not be fight­ing for the ti­tle – not yet but there’s a pos­si­bil­ity they will meet in the fi­nals – the game re­mains im­por­tant as the Archers are go­ing for an out­right semi­fi­nal berth while the Blue Ea­gles are out to se­cure a twiceto-beat in­cen­tive in the next stage.

Match is at 4 p.m. with the Ea­gles de­ter­mined to nail their 11th win in 13 games while the Archers will be shoot­ing for their 9th win in also 13 games.

In the first game at 2 p.m., Far Eastern Univer­sity is fac­ing must-win against also-ran Na­tional Univer­sity to stay in the hunt for a sixth straight semi­fi­nal berth and third straight with coach Olsen Racela.

The last time Far Eastern U failed to ad­vance in the semi­fi­nal stage was dur­ing the 2012 sea­son, but af­ter that the team has made it to the Fi­nal Four, in­clud­ing a ti­tle cam­paign in 2015.

FEU is tied with Univer­sity of the Philip­pines for fourth and fifth places with sim­i­lar 6-6 cards, thus mak­ing its game with NU an all-im­por­tant game to win as it bat­tle Adam­son on Nov. 18 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

La Salle, on the other hand, will try to se­cure a spot in the Fi­nal Four as well as sus­tain its bid for the sec­ond twice-to-beat bonus, some­thing the team achieved last sea­son as the No. 2 seeded team in the semi­fi­nals.

How­ever, La Salle coach Louie Gon­za­les said their fo­cus is on Ate­neo af­ter they lost to the Blue Ea­gles 71-55 dur­ing their first round meet­ing last Oct. 6 at the MOA Arena.

“We pre­pared hard for this game, we can’t al­low our­selves think­ing of things we don’t have con­trol… we just think of things we can con­trol,” said Gon­za­les, re­fer­ring of the twice-to­beat since Adam­son leads his team in that race for the sec­ond semi­fi­nal bonus.

Ate­neo hopes to for­mally have that in­cen­tive as it aims for a win and a re­peat against De La Salle as it guns for a sixth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory. The last time the team lost was against FEU (63-60) last Oct. 10.

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