Boris Aldeguer trusts Junior Archers fully prepared for strong bounce back by Bullpups in UAAP finals
La Salle coach Boris Aldeguer believes Junior Archers are mentally prepared for an aggressive Bullpups team in Game Three of the UAAP juniors finals. Jerome Ascano

DE La Salle-Zobel coach Boris Aldeguer assures the Junior Archers will not be overconfident heading into Game Three of UAAP Season 78 juniors basketball finals despite the morale-boosting Game Two win they pulled off against fancied National University Bullpups last Friday.

Aldeguer maintains La Salle remains the underdog in the title series, with NU needing just one win to claim the championship, while the Junior Archers need to win Game Three on Friday to force a decider on March 11.

“Our backs are still against the wall,” said Aldeguer on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey's Malate. “NU needs one more game. We need two more to get the championship.”

“We are just going to go out there like there’s no tomorrow and improve some more because I know NU will look to bounce back and start strong on Friday,” added the coach who aims to steer La Salle to its first crown since 2007.

The Bullpups for their part, are out to win its second UAAP juniors title in three years.

But while he maintained the Junior Archers remain focused, Aldeguer admitted the Game Two win significantly helped La Salle gain back its confidence.

“I think they are starting to believe that they can do it as long as they play together as a team and give 100 percent. Anything can happen even against a team like NU which is formidable,” said the older brother of former PBA player Dino Aldeguer.

Led by Most Valuable Player Aljun Melecio, Marco Sario, and MR Romero, the Junior Archers extended the series with a 71-60 win over the Bullpups last Friday. It was the first loss of NU in the season, preventing a rare 16-0 romp for the title.

Aldeguer said La Salle’s game plan for Game Three is practically the same -limit the inside points of NU’s 6-foot-7 cager Justine Baltazar, who is averaging 23.5 rebounds in the series.


“If you look at the stats, they are strong in inside points and rebounds. We had to choose our poison. We just have to take care of limiting their inside points and rebounds, and hopefully, their shooting doesn’t connect. Kasi kumpleto talaga sila. They got good big guys and great shooters,” said Aldeguer.

Game Three is set on Friday, 2 p.m. at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

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