High-flying Eagles, soaring Falcons clash
Unbeaten Ateneo braces for a tougher challenge from those in pursuit beginning with its opening opponent in the second round of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament – streaking Adamson – today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The high-flying Blue Eagles, who completed a sweep of the first round with a 76-75 thriller over rival La Salle last Sunday, target No. 8 in their 4 p.m. duel with a Falcons side (5-2) that’s also enjoying a streak of its own at four games.
The third-running Falcons seek revenge from their 65-85 blowout at the hands of the Eagles in a kick-off day match that AdU import Papi Sarr skipped due to injury. Sarr has since returned to man the post for AdU.
“Adamson is on a roll. They’re a well-coached team and they have the momentum,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.
“Last time we played them, Papi Sarr didn’t play and some of their players who didn’t play well against us are already hitting their stride so it’s gonna be a different battle compared to when we played them in the first round and we have to prepare well against them,” he added.
Arespacochaga said the first round was a good learning experience for the young Eagles. “For us, the key is improving each game; to a certain extent we did that so we like to carry it over to the second round,” he said.
After a 1-2 start, Adamson has gotten traction and racked up victories over National U, University of the East, University of the Philippines and Far Eastern U to stay in the upper rungs of the standings.