A WELL-RESTED University of Santo Tomas side goes up against La Salle and tries to keep going its winning streak in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
The Growling Tigers (2-1) seek their third straight win against the Archers Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Game time is at 2 p.m.
The Growling Tigers have so far played one game a week since their match with University of the Philippine Maroons two weeks ago had to be postponed due to inclement weather.
But the scenario has favorably worked to the Tigers’ advantage as they won their last two outings against bigwigs Ateneo and National University.
The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs, 77-71, last July 28 after coming off a one-week break. Their fresh legs obviously helped them to overcome a 14-point deficit and essay the come-from-behind win.
Going to their game against the Archers (2-2), the Tigers again had the benefit of a week’s rest.
“Blessing in disguise nga rin na hindi kami nakapaglaro against UP (July 21) kasi baka nadisgrasya kami dahil galing kami sa back-to-back games,” said Jarencio.
“Mas naka-prepara kami at kahit papano, nakarecover ‘yung mga katawan namin,” added the UST coach.
A sidelight in the UST-La Salle encounter is the first face-off this season between brothers Jeric and Jeron Teng. The elder Teng said he is looking forward to playing against his younger brother.
The Archers bowed to archrivals Ateneo Eagles last week, 71-61, with head coach Gee Abanilla admitting the lack of maturity proved to be their biggest drawback.
La Salle goes into its match looking to break its two-game losing skid after opening the season with two straight wins, but Abanilla said there is no pressure in facing the Tigers.
"We'll make do with what we have and treat it as any other game," he said.
In the second game, Ateneo goes for the solo lead by facing another winless team in University of the East at 4 p.m.
The Blue Eagles got a big scare from lowly University of the Philippines the last time, but were able to pull off a 76-70 victory.
“Every game that we play, we expect the other team’s best effort. We respect the other teams going into each game,” Black said.
That said, Ateneo is expected to play with a lot more fire against the Warriors, who have yet to win in three games.