DEFENDING champion Ateneo eyes a follow-up to its big opening-day win as it takes on National University on Wednesday in the UAAP baseball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Eagles, easy 13-3 winners over the University of the Philippines, face the Bulldogs, 8-9, losers to second-seed University of Sto. Tomas, collide in the 7 a.m. opener of a three-game bill.
The Bulldogs were trailing the Growling Tigers, 2-4, after four innings and looked catching up on a spirited rally five sessions later only to fall short.
Tournament host Adamson and UP face off at 9 o’clock in a battle of opening-day losers.
The Falcons, ranked fourth, bowed to La Salle, 2-3, also on Sunday.
The Tigers are favored to hurdle the Archers in their 1 p.m. showdown.
With almost intact rosters, the Eagles and Tigers are favorites to make the title series, with the Archers and Falcons expected to pull off some surprsises.
“Malakas pa rin ang Ateneo. Nandoon pa rin ang nucleus ng last yeear’s champion team,” said Jun Veloso, a former player and now operations manager of the Amateur Softball of the Philippines.
“But as the saying goes, bilog ang bola kaya may mga surpresa ring darating sa torneo. Expect UST and La Salle and even Adamson to make their moves as the tournament goes on.”