UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas and De La Salle go at each other for one last time as the two rival schools collide Saturday for the UAAP men’s basketball championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After a week-long break, the Tigers and Green Archers return to the court in a winner-take-all showdown set at 3:30 p.m.
The Taft-based school made the sudden-death match possible following a 77-70 win in Game Two last week that leveled the best-of-three series at 1-1 behind a short seven-man rotation of coach Juno Sauler led by Jeron Teng and Norbert Torres.
Teng contributed 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while Torres chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds in a rousing bounced-back victory by the Archers after losing the series opener, 73-72.
Sauler said he still wants to get more out of his backcourt for the deciding game as he expects UST to double-team more La Salle’s biggies in Torres and Arnold Van Opstal in the paint.
“I hope that we keep on making adjustments especially when the double-team collapses on them. We want to balance ‘yung output ng bigs and guards,” said the soft-spoken La Salle coach.
“Definitely, we’ve been working on their shooting. I need to keep telling them to shoot with confidence,” Sauler added.
UST mentor Pido Jarencio said he remains confident about the team’s chances despite losing Game Two.
“Actually, wala akong concern kasi tumabla pa lang sila sa amin. May chance pa kami manalo sa last game. Wala na tayo masyadong i-a-adjust. At least dito, may sitwasyon na puwede pa tayong bumalik,” said Jarencio.
UST gunner Jeric Teng is coming off a career-game 28-points in a losing effort.
But the high-scoring guard tries to end his collegiate career with a win and a title for the Tigers.