Posted Sep 4th 2014
La Salle, FEU fight for top spot
By Josiah Albelda Posted Aug 27th 2014
The top spot will be in both teams’ crosshairs when De La Salle University meets Far Eastern University in the 77th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Both toting 7-2 records, the defending champions Green Archers take on the Tamaraws in an all-important meeting that could determine seedings once the elimination rounds are over.
La Salle coach Juno Sauler’s squad has been on a roll, winning seven straight games despite a rash of injuries after dropping their first two. He believes the Archers have improved a lot since that slumber, but also thinks FEU will be no pushovers in their 4:00pm battle.
“They’re a lot better. I’ve seen some of their games already,” he said. “They’re a lot better than how they played in the opening (day). We’ve grown as a team, but FEU’s a lot stronger than how we played them in the first game.”
The Tamaraws stunned the Archers in their first meeting this season, running away with an 82-77 win when guard Mike Tolomia caught fire in the final period.
Mac Belo also did well in that victory, and with RR Pogoy finally finding his groove, the Morayta cagers have been one of the most impressive crews this season.
Nevertheless, coach Nash Racela said FEU should be wary of La Salle, who will have all of their players aside from injured guard Thomas Torres back for the tournament’s final push.
“Kakatakot kasi kumpleto na sila,” he said. “We’ll prepare for them. Very important we stay close to the perceived finalists.”
The Tamaraws would have to contend anew with the Archers’ big men led by MVP candidate Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Norbert Torres and Arnold van Opstal, although they would have an advantage in the backcourt with Tolomia and Pogoy leading the way.
The game will air live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23, BALLS HD SkyCable 167, uaapsports.tv, iwantv.com, TFC Bro and tfc.tv with a same day replay at 8 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.