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Eagles, Archers renew rivalry for solo third

By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 1st 2013

Ateneo and La Salle renew their rivalry once again, but this time with more at stake as both are tied for third place in the team standings.

Round 2. This time for higher stakes.

Bitter rivals Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University lock horns anew in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament Sunday before an expected huge crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Both teams are on winning streaks and with the race for Final Four slots getting tougher and tougher every day, expect the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers to do everything to score a victory.

La Salle leaned on Arnold Van Opstal to claw back from a first-half deficit to upend Ateneo, 82-73, on July 7.

But the Eagles have recovered from that slow start, winning five straight games en route to climbing to the top four with a 6-4 record.

Meanwhile, after a so-so stretch when they surrendered wins by giving up big leads and missing free-throws in the clutch, the Archers have done well of late and have won three consecutive outings to move to 6-4.

A win would propel either team to solo third place, just a game behind National University, who possesses and 8-3 record.

A healthy Kiefer Ravena, who missed their Round 1 battle, will lead Ateneo's attack this time, giving coach Juno Sauler a huge problem to solve.

Meanwhile, the Eagles' big men will have their hands full against La Salle's formidable trio of Arnold van Opstal, Jason Perkins and Norbert Torres.

Ateneo has a slim 36-35 advantage in the 71 meetings between the two squads in the UAAP.

The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a same day replay at 8 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34 or Destiny Cable channel 36.