THE long climb to the top begins on Wednesday as No. 3 Far Eastern University and fourth-ranked University of Santo Tomas clash at the start of the stepladder semifinals in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament.
Game time is at 4 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UST took the first round match between the teams, 82-74, and FEU responded with a rousing 72-58 win in the second round.
Coaches Olden Racela and Aldin Ayo believe whatever they have done in the eliminations is moot at this point.
"What we did in the eliminations will not be enough sa Final Four," said FEU’s Racela, who is banking on L-Jay Gonzales and Wendell Comboy to step up their game ahead of this crucial tiff.
Growling Tigers mentor Ayo agreed, saying, "Wala na yun. We have to be as prepared as much as we could dahil first time ng mga bata na makalaro dito sa Final Four," as he leans on MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo and Rhenz Abando.
Awaiting the winner of the match is No. 2 seed University of the Philippines, which is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.