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Ateneo, UST fight for last Final Four spot - UAAP Season 76

Ateneo, UST fight for last Final Four spot

By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 18th 2013

Kiefer Ravena will try to tow the Ateneo Blue Eagles to their 15th consecutive Final Four appearance when they take on the UST Growling Tigers for the remaining semifinal berth.

Now for all the marbles.

Season 75 finalists Ateneo de Manila University and University of Santo Tomas battle for the last Final Four slot in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Both toting 7-6 cards, the Blue Eagles and the Growling Tigers attempt to stave off elimination in a campaign that could be branded as underwhelming for the two squads who figured in the championship round last year.

Ateneo, the five-peat champions gunning for a sixth straight title, will be hard-pressed to bounce back from a loss to league-leading National University last Wednesday and will have to do it without coach Bo Perasol.

Perasol will miss his second game of the tournament after the UAAP suspended him anew after violating his earlier suspension for charging into the stands and getting into an altercation with a fan after a defeat to rival De La Salle University.

Despite this, assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga believes the Eagles are ready for these tough times.

"We have a veteran group of guys," the long-time top lieutenant said. "We have a lot of players who know what this last stretch is about."

"The key is we need to continue with that," he added. "We have an end result in mind. We look to achieve it."

Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome try to extend burly forward Ryan Buenafe's UAAP career while also trying to end the collegiate stint of UST gunner Jeric Teng.

The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167, and with a same day replay at 11 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34 or Destiny Cable channel 36.