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Eagles, Bulldogs face off today

Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. FEU vs UP
4 p.m. Ateneo vs NU

Ateneo shifts its focus back on the hardcourt amid its win over University of the East shadowed in a cloud of doubt as the Blue Eagles face National University today in UAAP Season 76 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Tied with University of Santo Tomas for fourth place at 7-5, the Loyola-based cagers look to gain ground on the Growling Tigers in the race for the last Final Four berth in their crucial 4 p.m. encounter.

Far Eastern University seeks to close its elimination round assignment on a winning note against winless University of the Philippines at 2 p.m.

Today’s doubleheader, however, could at the backdrop after a latest controversy in which UE sought the UAAP board to investigate the presence of coach Bo Perasol in Ateneo’s 77-72 win over the eliminated Warriors last Sunday.

UE is contesting Perasol’s appearance at the Mall of Asia Arena despite serving a one-game suspension for his near-confrontation with a heckling La Salle fan. The former PBA mentor was inside Ateneo dugout as assistant Sandy Arespacochaga called the shots.

Under league rules, a team faces forfeiture if a suspended coach was at the venue while serving his ban.

An irked Ateneo side countered by filing its own complaint, arguing the cameo of UE’s suspended player Ralf Olivares despite a two-game suspension for elbowing a pair of National University cagers almost two weeks ago.

A suspended player is prohibited from the team bench and “in the immediate vicinity”, a rule that has been debated by various sectors. (Jonas Terrado)