Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. FEU vs Ateneo
4 p.m. UST vs Adamson
Far Eastern University shoots for at least a playoff for a Final Four berth when it battles defending champion Ateneo today in the resumption of UAAP Season 76 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Coming off an exhausting 98-94 double overtime victory against University of the East last Sunday, the league-leading Tamaraws want nothing more but to keep their winning ways but they will be hard-pressed on beating the streaking Blue Eagles in the 2 p.m. encounter.
The other game will pit a pair of struggling teams in University of Santo Tomas and Adamson set at 4 p.m.
FEU improved to 8-2 on the season after Sunday’s frantic win that needed two extra periods and an improbable comeback from seven points down in the first overtime that heaved a big sigh of relief for coach Nash Racela and his boys.
“Games like this will make us stronger, plus to think that RR (Garcia) wasn’t there,“ said Racela, whose team snapped a two-game skid following a sevengame sweep of the first round.
Terrence Romeo fired a career-best 30 points but he got some help from the likes of Gryann Mendoza and reserve guard Achie Inigo as the Tams prevented a tie with National University for first place.
RR Garcia will make his return for FEU after serving a one-game suspension for two unsportsmanlike fouls. But the Morayta-based cagers will have their hands full against Ateneo.
Ateneo has weathered a rare 03 start by winning five of its next six games. The Eagles have also won their last four games to tie UE for fourth at 5-4.
The Eagles of coach Bo Perasol kept their fiery form last Sunday when they beat Adamson, 7966, behind Kiefer Ravena, Ryan Buenafe and Chris Newsome.
“As of now we don’t really focus on individual things but how can we improve defensively as a team and we would like to see the same defense that we showed on Adamson against them,“ said Perasol.
While these two teams are inside the Final Four race, UST and Adamson are just looking to get there. But both are currently experiencing a downward spiral after a solid start to their respective campaigns.
The Tigers started the season at 2-0 but lost four of their next five. They have also lost their last three outings, with their last coming from Saturday’s 75-61 defeat to NU.
On the other hand, the Falcons are on a five-game skid since a 32 start. (Jonas Terrado)