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(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – Adamson vs UST
4 p.m. – FEU vs NU
Defending champion Far Eastern University and National University aim to secure solo second before the end of the first round as they clash today in UAAP basketball at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tamaraws and Bulldogs, locked in a tie for second at 4-2, are looking to win the 4 p.m. match and gain significant momentum before the second round of the eliminations begin this weekend.
FEU and NU clash after Adamson tries to rebound from Sunday’s stunning loss to lowly University of the East against University of Santo Tomas in the 2 p.m. opener.
While glad to post winning records through six games, both teams are still worried about their inconsistencies, particularly for NU which has struggled protecting big leads.
That dilemma was once again evident in Saturday’s 80-69 victory over the University of the Philippines Maroons when the Bulldogs saw their lead dwindle to just two points but needed key baskets from Matt Salem and rookie JV Gallego in the end to avoid a meltdown.
“Ang natutunan ko as a coach is that you can never be happy and you never be contented,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “We’re still a work in progress, there’s always something to learn.”
For FEU coach Nash Racela, his worry is the Tamaraws offense which is ranked sixth at 70.2 points per game.
Luckily for the Tams, their offense waxed hot at the start behind the outside shooting of unheralded guard Jojo Trinidad as they defeat the Growling Tigers, 79-72.
Meanwhile, Adamson is aching to redeem itself from its 64-57 defeat to UE in a game that saw the Falcons squander two 11-point leads in the third quarter.
Falcons coach Franz Pumaren, whose team dropped to 3-3, lamented their collapse to their being a young team.
“Part of growing pains of being a young team,” said Pumaren. “I don’t think right now my team is in this kind of situation, meaning under the limelight, under the microscope, and we just have to overcome that.”