High-fly­ing Ea­gles, soar­ing Fal­cons clash

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS -

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.

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