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    Unbeaten Ateneo eyes semis spot in rivalry rematch vs La Salle

    Oct 13, 2019

    ATENEO has its sights set on locking up the first Final Four spot as it tackles rival La Salle Sunday in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

    Win no. 10 is what the Blue Eagles are gunning for as the game would not only annex their unbeaten campaign this year but also extend their win streak to 20 straight games.

    Yet coach Tab Baldwin is fully aware that Ateneo is bracing for a different La Salle team to the one it beat back in September 8, 81-69.

    "They look like they've sort of found themselves a bit. La Salle has a couple of good wins under their belt. They pushed themselves right up into the top four contention and that's where they wanna be," he said after its 80-74 win over Adamson last Wednesday.

    Thirdy Ravena, Ange Kouame, and Will Navarro will lead the fight for the Blue Eagles in this 12 p.m. tiff as they go up against a Green Archers squad bannered by Justine Baltazar, Aljun Melecio, and Andrei Caracut.

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    La Salle is riding high from its 85-61 win over NU last week to improve to 4-4, but coach Gian Nazario is more focused on his side's continuing development other than stopping the powerhouse team that Ateneo is.

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      "We prepare more for what we have to do instead of who we're going to play. That's gonna be our mantra for the rest of the season. Worry about us, worry about who we're going to play," he said.

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      University of Santo Tomas (5-4) and Far Eastern University (4-5) face off in the 4 p.m. tilt with both sides hoping to boost their respective Final Four chances.

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