Ateneo clashes with Archers at Big Dome
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.