ATENEO attempts to clinch a twice-to-beat spot in the Final Four when it takes on Adamson on Wednesday at the end of the UAAP Season 79 seniors basketball eliminations at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blue Eagles square off against the Falcons in a 4 p.m. battle between the hottest teams in the league - Ateneo is on a five-game win streak while Adamson has won its last four games.
But in a three-way battle with Adamson and slumping Far Eastern University, the rejuvenated Blue Eagles are in the best position to claim the No. 2 seed - and twice-to-beat advantage - in the playoffs.
Ateneo are sitting in second place behind top seed La Salle with a 9-4 win-loss record and all it needs is a win over Adamson to automatically secure the second twice-to-beat incentive in the semifinals.
Adamson is in third place with an 8-5 card, needing a victory to force a playoff for the No. 2 seed.
Of the three, FEU (8-5), which goes up against University of the East in the first game at 2 p.m., faces the toughest task just to force a playoff for the No. 2 ranking.
The Tamaraws must beat the Warriors and hope that Adamson beats Ateneo by 31 or more points to earn a playoff for the second twice-to-beat incentive once the quotient system comes into play.
A loss will drop the Tamaraws to fourth seed in the Final Four and an early match-up with a twice-to-beat La Salle side - a team that already has beaten them twice this season.
The Falcons beat the Blue Eagles, 62-61, in the first-round on Dawn Ochea's game-winner, but Adamson coach Franz Pumaren expects a different battle this time.
“It’s going to be entirely different. After beating FEU, our playoff mindset has started. Hopefully, we can sustain the run. It’s a new challenge to my young team,” Pumaren said.
With a 3-10 record, the Red Warriors are out to finish the season strong after pulling off a 80-67 win over University of the Philippines over the weekend.