National University and La Salle battle it out for the Filoil Flying V Preseason Hanes Cup title in a one-game finale on Tuesday that could have a big say on the hierarchy in the coming collegiate season.
Both the Bulldogs and the Green Archers failed to reach the Final Four of last season’s UAAP but have shown great gains in the preseason entering the 4 p.m. title match at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
“We came into the tournament just to hone up and probably test the new guys and get used to each other,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “The championship game will be a good game for us in terms of growing and maturing.”
The Bulldogs are still undefeated in the preseason tournament, highlighting their 10-game win streak with an 85-68 romp over reinging UAAP champion Ateneo on Saturday.
The Green Archers, meanwhile, entered the finals after dispatching two fancied NCAA squads. They beat San Sebastian, 84-70, in the quarterfinals before ousting previously undefeated San Beda, 50-46, last Saturday.
La Salle coach Gee Abanilla stressed the Archers are again the underdogs against NU.
“They are a talent-laden team from the first guy to the last guy. Hopefully, makasabay lang kami sa kanila,” Abanilla said.
Ateneo and San Beda clash in the battle for third place serving as the curtain-raiser.
Meanwhile, San Beda faces Letran in the juniors final at 12 p.m. after the battle for third between Xavier and NU at 10 a.m.