UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas goes for the solo lead on Wednesday when it faces Ateneo in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Growling Tigers look to improve on their 8-1 win-loss slate as they take on the Blue Eagles at 4 p.m.
UST continued its winning ways on Saturday when it avenged its lone first round loss against National University, 65-57, and registered its fifth straight victory.
The Tigers hold a three-game lead over third placers Ateneo and La Salle (5-4) and are looking to further boost their chances of claiming a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four, although head coach Bong de la Cruz refused to be carried away by their winning run.
“Matagal pa ’yung tournament,” said De la Cruz.
Ateneo is trying to string up victories in its bid to catch up with co-leaders UST and Far Eastern University.
“The remaining games would be very important so any win that we could add to our winning slate will be big for us,” said Ateneo coach Bo Perasol.
Ateneo will also look to shake off some off-court distraction after Blue Eagle John Apacible was caught on video in a drunken state on the road, challenging a fellow driver to a fight while flashing a ‘Councilor’ license plate.
Ateneo has suspended Apacible for the rest of the second round.
NU tries to get back on track as it faces fellow struggler Adamson at 2 p.m.
The Bulldogs’ loss to the Tigers was their third straight and they are tied with University of the East and University of the Philippines at 3-6.
The Falcons, at the cellar with a 1-8 clip, will play without Joseph Nalos, who was suspended after being ejected from their game against Ateneo for a hard foul on Vince Tolentino.
Standings: UST 8-1, FEU 8-1, DLSU 5-4, ADMU 5-4, NU 3-6, UP 3-6, UE 3-6, AdU 1-8.