ATENEO came up with an 11-point win in the first-round encounter with UP, a margin that’s apparently not satisfactory for Eagles coach Bo Perasol and he remains wary of the Maroons as they clash for the second time this season on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Eagles are tied for second with an 8-3 win-loss card and the Maroons a lowly 1-10, but Perasol has reason to be wary as UP was in contention the whole game before dropping a 75-86 loss in teh first round.
Gametime is at 2 p.m.
“I believe UP is a strong team,” said Perasol, who played for the Maroons in his college days.
“In the first round, they matched up really well against us. We need to make sure that we can find a way to stop their guards and prevent their bigs from shooting from the outside.”
Perasol is not taking things lightly in the final stretch of the eliminations despite having the lightest schedule among the Final Four contenders.
After UP, Ateneo takes on winless Adamson on September 6 before a match with league-leading Far Eastern University on September 13 that could well determine the Final Four seedings.
“As we face a very improved UP team, we have to refocus on how we can match up with them and get a win on Wedneday,” said Perasol.
Even Far Eastern University assistant coach Eric Gonzales back up Perasol’s statements as he said UP is due for a win.
“Akala ng lahat, ang UP mahina. Lahat ng makakalaban niyan sa susunod, maniwala kayo, dikit ’yan,” said Gonzales.
UP coach Rey Madrid downplayed the statements.
“Dulo na kami ng season eh. We are late in coming. What I told my boys is that we are building for the future,” Madrid said.
Still, Perasol warned his Kiefer Ravena-led team not to be complacent as he believes all their opponents will be trying to go for an upset.
“We already talked about how it’s going to be difficult from here on. Our last three games isn’t going to be easy. Everybody is going to find a way to win,” said Perasol.