LA SALLE tries to do a feat it hasn’t done in five years as the Green Archers face fellow undefeated Far Eastern University in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Green Archers go for a 3-0 start for the first time since 2007, when they last captured the UAAP crown.
But they will have to do it the hard way as they will be up against a tough, well-rested Tamaraws side in their 2 p.m. match up
In the second game at 4 p.m., four-time defending champion Ateneo goes up against preseason darling National University in an equally interesting showdown between two of the season favorites.
The Green Archers grabbed their second victory in as many tries when they defeated University of the East, 67-59, last Thursday.
La Salle coach Gee Abanilla believes meeting FEU will be a huge test for the Green Archers.
“Definitely, FEU is a very strong team from all spots,” Abanilla said. “We got to make some real good effort and adjustment in order to win.”
While RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo exploded for 34 points in FEU’s 73-72 victory over University of Santo Tomas in the season opener, Abanilla said focus will also be on the Tamaraws’ big man rotation anchored on rookie transferee Anthony Hargrove.
“I think we can’t afford our big guys to get into foul trouble against a team like FEU which has a very big team. We need all the big guys to be able to support the team,” Abanilla said.
The Blue Eagles, meanwhile, are out to bounce back from their stinging 70-71 defeat against the UST Tigers last Thursday.
Ateneo coach Norman Black hopes his boys will revert back to team basketball following the defeat that dropped the Blue Eagles to an even 1-1 (win-loss) card.
“It seemed like everybody was forcing their plays a little bit against UST,” Black admitted.
The Bulldogs hope to remain unbeaten in two games following their lopsided 90-55 win over University of the East in the season opener.
“We know that there will be tougher games so we have to stay sharp, stay focus and be able to execute our game plan,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said.