UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas plays the second of its first back-to-back games of the season on Wednesday when it faces University of the Philippines in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Tigers, occupying solo third place with a 4-1 win-loss card, have had the luck of getting a lot of rest before each of their first five games of the season owing to games cancelled because of bad weather.
It will be interesting to see how UST responds when the Tigers try to extend their four-game winning streak, just three days after their 85-69 victory over University of the East.
Originally, the game against UP was scheduled on July 21 just after UST's match against Ateneo where the Tigers had to come back from a 19-point deficit on the way to a 71-70 victory.
“Baka na-disgrasya pa kami sa UP doon kung hindi na-postpone ['yung laro],” said UST coach Pido Jarencio.
Jarencio said UST is more prepared this time around.
“Sharper kami against UE kaya magiging fine-tuned na kami pagdating sa UP, which is a dangerous team,” said Jarencio.
Not even the MCL grade one injury on Jeric Teng has dampened UST’s morale especially after its super-subs led by Louie Vigil stepped up in his absence with 13 points in Sunday’s victory.
“Mahaba yung liga tapos sunod sunod pa laro namin kaya kailagan namin lahat ng players na pwede makatulong sa team,” Jarencio said.
Jarencio is not taking UP for granted after the Maroons figured in three close games, losing by an average margin of 3.67 points.
“Maganda ang sistema nila, well-coached sila na anytime puwede mag-explode kaya hindi namin pwede balewalain ’yun,” said Jarencio.
Struggling teams University of the East and Adamson clash in the opening game at 2 p.m.
The Warriors are winless in five games while the Falcons are on a three-game skid for a 1-4 win-loss card following a 62-77 loss to National University last August 5.