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Rejuvenated Ateneo wary of struggling UE

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 17th 2013

Chris Newsome and the rest of the Ateneo Blue Eagles seek back-to-back wins when they take the slumping UE Red Warriors.

With its first win now in the books, Ateneo de Manila University tries to build momentum heading into the final stretch of the first round of the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament.

The six-peat-seeking Blue Eagles take on struggling University of the East on Wednesday at 2 p.m., with both teams -- mired at the bottom with 1-3 records -- hoping to inch closer to the upper echelon of teams nearing the halfway mark of the tourney.

After beating Adamson University last Sunday, Ateneo coach Bo Perasol expressed apparent relief.

"More than anything else, this is relief," said Perasol. "The criticism I've received over the past week were more than what I've received in my entire career."

With virtually everyone on the Katipunan lineup stepping up, the Eagles manhandled the Soaring Falcons in the last two periods to set up the 71-59 win -- their first in a season marred by three straight losses.

And despite his big men's laudable performance against Adamson hulk Ingrid Sewa, Perasol remains wary of UE's import, Charles Mammie.

"Malaking challenge dahil galing sa talo ang UE," Perasol said. "If your back is against the wall, you will find a way to win."

Heavily hyped up before the season began, the Warriors have failed to deliver so far, only winning one of their first four games as the Recto crew has sputtered when it mattered most.

The Warriors though will get a big boost against Ateneo as center Charles Mammie, who is currently the league's top rebounder, will return to action after serving a one-game suspension in the loss to UST last Saturday.

The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a same day replay at 9 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.