UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas' Tigers go for the jugular on Saturday in Game Two of the UAAP Season 76 seniors basketball championship series against De La Salle at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum
The Growling Tigers look to finish off the Green Archers and become the first fourth-ranked team to win a UAAP basketball crown in their 3:30 p.m. showdown before an expected banner crowd at the Big Dome.
Ahead 1-0 in the best-of-three series after a 73-72 win in Game One on Wednesday, UST will be gunning for another crown at the expense of De La Salle, its perennial victims in the finals during the 1990s.
UST coach Pido Jarencio remained firm that his team will be taking a ‘nothing-to-lose’ attitude to Game Two.
“Relax ang atmosphere namin, walang pressure,” said Jarencio. “Kahit papaano, na-redeem ko na sarili ko sa sitwasyon. Vindicated lalo ngayon. More blessing ito kapag nakuha pa namin ito (title).”
Kevin Ferrer exploded for the Tigers in Game One by scoring 20 points and continued his proficient shooting from the outside, going 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.
De La Salle coach Juno Sauler admitted that Ferrer ‘killed’ the Green Archers in the opener and looks to make adjustments not only on defense but also on offense after the Tigers shot 43.3 percent compared to their 37.5 percent clip.
“They shot better in all departments — three-points, two-points, and even from the free throw line,” said Sauler. “It’s going to be hard if our opponent shoots better in all aspects.”
“It was Ferrer who killed us. The 62 precent from threes of Ferrer is the one that killed us,” Sauler said.
“We have to take away those shots of Ferrer from three, and get good shots to increase our field goal percentage,” said Sauler.
Jarencio preferred to keep his cards close to his chest.
“Basta ako, mas ready pa siguro kami sa Game Two. Baka may konting adjustments lang kami,” said Jarencio.
Meanwhile, National University and De La Salle go for the women’s crown in the deciding Game Three at 10 a.m.
The league also formally gives out the individual awards at 2 p.m.