FAR Eastern University looks to complete a season sweep and put an end to La Salle’s reign as champions when they clash once more in their UAAP Final Four match on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws are coming off a 65-60 win over the Green Archers a week ago, victory that earned them the no. 2 seeding and the twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Though FEU has two chances to dethrone La Salle, coach Nash Racela isn’t taking any chances, ordering his boys to finish off the Green Archers with their defense when they collide at 4 p.m.
A win would vault FEU back to the UAAP Finals for the first time since 2011, when the Tamaraws lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles, 2-0.
“I think it’s our defense that gave us the victory (last week). If we keep focusing on that (defense), I think victory will come our way,” said Racela, whose team holds a 3-0 edge in their head-to-head matchup with La Salle this season.
But Racela said their 3-0 advantage this season hardly matters at this point, saying La Salle’s size remains a big matchup problem.
“We are really small compared to La Salle,” said Racela. “But (in their recent game), we were making the right decision towards the end. Di namin tinitira yung di namin dapat itira, pinapasa namin.”
Meantime, La Salle coach Juno Sauler said patient execution will be critical for the Green Archers to get back at the Tamaraws in the hope of forcing a rubber match next week.
“We have to continue to play in a team setting and find those good shots,” said Sauler, whose team shot just 32.3 percent from the field last time.
La Salle star Jeron Teng is coming off a 2-of-11 shooting from the field to finish with just eight points.
The burly Green Archers forward also accounted for five turnovers.
“They (Tamaraws) attacked well on offense and played well on defense, hut we’ll just see what we need to adjust,” he added.