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Vengeful Ateneo takes on dangerous FEU

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 3rd 2013

Terrence Romeo will lead the FEU Tamaraws as they go for a 2-0 start as they clash with the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

Their opening-weekend loss notwithstanding, five-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University battles to bounce back against Far Eastern University in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

With star player Kiefer Ravena hobbling, the Blue Eagles absorbed a stinging 54-64 setback against National University in a game where they trailed by as much as 23 points.

But with Ravena closer to full health, the six-peat-seeking Ateneo squad will hope to compete better this time against the Tamaraws, who came from behind to send University crashing back to earth on opening day.

However, the Eagles will still be hard-pressed to contain FEU guard Terrence Romeo, who flirted with a triple-double and punished the Red Warriors with 23 points, 9 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.

Ateneo will also have their hands full against former MVP RR Garcia, Mac Belo and Anthony Hargrove -- Tamaraws who all finished in double figures in their resounding win over UE.

Eagles coach Bo Perasol noted before the tournament began that their season will hinge on the team's health, and if their first game was any indication, they are in for a rough ride.

Ateneo shot two of 27 from three-point range in the first three quarters, as they overly relied on an offensive weapon they did not flaunt much in their run to five straight championships.

After a Dennice Villamor triple gave the Bulldogs a 58-35 advantage, the Eagles finally hit their mark from downtown and inched to as close as 10 points before Ray Parks delivered the dagger.

On the other hand, FEU started slow against the Warriors, but once Romeo heated up, the Morayta-based squad proved to be unstoppable as they beat the favored FilOil champions.

The Tamaraws have dropped eight straight meetings to the Eagles dating back to September 11, 2010.

The game will air live at 4 p.m. 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.