UPIS, UST, La Salle-Zobel slug it out for last Final Four slot in fallout of Adamson forfeiture
UPIS coach Paolo Mendoza hopes to lead his team out of a three-way tie with UST and La Salle-Zobel to earn the last ticket to the Final Four. Dante Peralta

THE decision of the UAAP to forfeit the games of the Adamson Baby Falcons in Season 79 juniors basketball tournament have left three teams suddenly in contention to make it to the Final Four.

University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines Integrated School, and De La Salle-Zobel found themselves still in the hunt for the next stage after the Baby Falcons' 11 wins were forfeited by the league for fielding an ineligible player.

UST, UPIS, and Zobel have similar 5-8 win-loss slates going into the final game day of the elimination round, all of which are gunning for the fourth and final spot in the Final Four.

The Tiger Cubs can keep their Final Four hopes alive with a win over also-ran University of the East (3-10) on Saturday at 9 a.m. UST, however, lost to UE in their first round encounter.

That leaves the tiff between UPIS and DLSZ as a crucial match at 11 a.m., where the winner will either gain an automatic berth in the Final Four or face UST in a playoff for No. 4 if the Tigers Cubs beat the Junior Warriors.

Meanwhile, the battle for positioning by the top three teams in the league is still on with Far Eastern University-Diliman and Ateneo squaring off at 1 p.m.

The Baby Tamaraws, currently in second place with an 11-2 win-loss record, need a win over the Blue Eaglets to gain the twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

The Blue Eaglets (10-3), on the other hand, need to win in order to force a playoff for the No. 2 spot.

NU, meantime, still needs a win over Adamson in the final game of the day at 3 p.m. to secure the top spot in the Final Four. An NU loss and an FEU win will put the Baby Tamaraws at number one due to superior quotient.

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