LA Salle fights for dear life against a Far Eastern University side that has secured its place in the top of half of the semifinals, as the Archers and Tamaraws play on Wednesday at the close of the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball eliminations at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
It is pretty straightforward for the Green Archers, who need to win the match tipping off at 4 p.m. to force a playoff for No. 4 against National University. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, could play easy and save their energy for the semifinals against Ateneo, but has vowed to play tough and try to end a skid.
La Salle snapped a three-game skid when it defeated University of the Philippines, 72-68, for a 6-7 card.
That was only its second win in the second round, and not enough to earn the Archers gain semifinal berth as NU won over FEU, 70-68, to move to provisional solo fourth with a 7-7 slate.
University of Sto. Tomas is the semifinals top seed followed by FEU and Ateneo.
“All the teams have been playing great. Even at the start of the season, I told them that the standings will be close,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler.
“It’s either one team will pull away from the top but there’s going to be a bunch of teams and we happened to be in the bunch. Even the teams below us, they‘ve been competing.”
Winning against FEU though is easier said than done, with the Tamaraws looking to arrest a two-game slide.
“I know they want to win also. It’s going to be a tough game. Their players can shoot from the outside, attack to the basket, coach Nash knows what he is doing there. It’s going to be a tough game.”
FEU has secured the second spot with a 10-3 record but would like to enter the semifinals on a winning note.
In the first game, also-ran squads University of the East and University of the Philippines look to end the elimination round on a high note at 2 p.m.
UE has a 5-8 card and had a chance to force a playoff for a semifinal spot until the penultimate day of eliminations, when NU scored its seventh win.
Now the Warriors try to end its season on a high note at they play UP, which at 3-10 is also looking to finish the campaign with a win.
“Same approach, same intensity. ‘Yun ang dinedevelop namin, to keep on fighting,” said UP coach Rensy Bajar.