La Salle faces rival Ateneo, Arellano battles NU in pair of Filoil Preseason Premier Cup semis
Ben Mbala towers above Ateneo players in their first pre-season match-up. Dante Peralta

DE La Salle and Ateneo take their storied rivalry in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup as they face each other for a berth in the finals on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Green Archers clash with the Blue Eagles at 4 p.m. in the second game of the semifinals of the seniors division.

Arellano and National University battle in the other semifinal pairing at 2 p.m., the winner moving on to the championship game set on Independence Day.

So far, the Green Archers are still unbeaten in the tournament, including a victory over Ateneo, 98-66, in the preliminary.

La Salle coach Aldin Ayo, however, expects the semis match to be totally different.

“It will be a different game compared nung last game. For sure, mag-aadjust sila dahil magagaling mga coaches nila. From our part, mag-aadjust din kami. Ganun naman ang basketball, game of adjustments," said Ayo.

The Taft-based cagers are coming off a 91-71 victory over Far Eastern University in the quarterfinals to set up a rematch with Ateneo, which despite losing seven players due to academic deficiencies, remains in contention for the championship after beating Perpetual Help, 68-59.

The Chiefs edged last year’s champion San Beda, 86-79, to reach the Final Four for the first time and face a Bulldogs, side that is coming off a 65-57 win over Adamson.

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