FOILED the last time out, Far Eastern University hopes to avoid playoff complications as it plays an Adamson side warming up for the semifinals today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Tamaraws need to play with a sense of urgency regardless whether the Falcons will go all-out or hold their punches in preparation for the tougher battles ahead in the match set at 4 p.m.
National University and University of the Philippines knock out each other at 2 p.m., with the winner hoping for an Adamson win later in the day to force do-or-die game with FEU for the remaining semis slot next week.
The Tamaraws shot a league record 18 three-point shots, but their efforts went down the drain as the Bulldogs got a lifeline, while spoiling their opponent’s march to the semifinals with an 87-84 win last Wednesday.
“We fell in love with the three-point shot. Forty-two attempts is way too many,” said FEU coach Olsen Racela.
Sporting a 6-7 card, the Tamaraws, UAAP champions just two seasons ago, seek to get the job this time around.
“Ayun, we were up and we let it slip away. Papahirapan pa namin sarili namin, we have to win our game against Adamson,” said Racela.
With nine victories to show, the Falcons have already locked the No. 3 seed in the playoffs -- whether it is a Final Four or a step-ladder format.
Playing with a lot of intensity to avoid getting eliminated for the second straight season, NU mentor Jamike Jarin was proud of the resolve of his boys against FEU.
“We can fast track skill level and talent, but the maturity, that you cannot fast track,” said Jarin.
“I’m happy right now because I saw the maturity. I hope it’s not too late, I hope it’s not too late,” he added.
The Bulldogs hope to display the same effort in their no-tomorrow matchup with the Fighting Maroons.
As UP is staring at the possibility of missing the Final Four again for the 20th straight time, coach Bo Perasol is looking at the positives, just like in last Sunday’s 82-96 loss to Ateneo.
The Maroons showed effort and confidence, which even led to a 12-point lead against the Blue Eagles in the third quarter, but immaturity and inexperience in crunch time did themselves in.
“[The effort] is what I wanted. But I told them, that the lesson there, it’s not enough. We want to get ahead, we need to beat the best teams, and if we beat the best teams, we have to beat them in the end game. And I think that’s where we failed in the end,” said Perasol.