ATENEO hopes to open the second round on the upper half of the standings as it plays University of the Philippines in another Katipunan derby today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles are tipped to stretch their seven-year domination of the Fighting Maroons to 14 games in the duel scheduled at 4 p.m.
Skidding University of Santo Tomas and last place University of the East collide in the first game at 2 p.m.
In other pairings tomorrow, La Salle seeks to extend its perfect run to eight against Adamson at 4 p.m. right after defending champion National University and Far Eastern University, crossing paths for the second time in five days, clash in the curtain raiser at 2 p.m.
Fielding in a young roster, Ateneo was muster four wins in seven contests in a three-way tie from third to fifth spots.
The Eagles, however, absorbed a sound 81-97 beating from the hands of the Ben Mbala-led Green Archers to cap their first round campaign last Sunday.
Ateneo should now be wary of UP, which is very dangerous once it is able to figure out how to close out games.
In the last two first round matches, the Maroons crumbled down the stretch in losses to the Tamaraws (49-51) and the Bulldogs (69-80).
After opening the season at 2-1, the Growling Tigers stumbled to four consecutive defeats to drop in sixth place.
The Red Warriors hope to gain momentum from last Sunday’s 64-57 victory over the Falcons, where coach Derrick Pumaren, while ending his team’s six straight losses, pulled up this one over his brother Franz.
UE lost to UST by narrowest of margins, 87-88, in the first round.
Meanwhile, UST moved two wins shy of reclaiming the women’s crown while its men’s squad also got an outright passage into Finals after scoring a twinkill against Far Eastern University yesterday in the UAAP beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay.
The Tigresses’ dynamic pair of Cherry Rondina and Jem Gutierrez completed a seven-game sweep of the eliminations with a masterful 21-14, 21-15 conquest of the Lady Tamaraws duo of Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza.
KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto also kept UST perfect in men’s play by hammering out a 21-12, 21-19 victory over FEU’s Richard Solis and Jude Garcia.
The women’s and men’s teams of UST will play in the opener of best-of-three championship series against the survivors of the step-ladder semifinals at midday today.
The remaining Finals matches are scheduled tomorrow.