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2 p.m. – FEU vs UP
4 p.m. – UE vs Adamson
FEU clashes with UP; UE meets Adamson.
All eyes will be on coach Nash Racela today as Far Eastern University shoots for its eighth straight win against University of the Philippines in the UAAP basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Reports surfaced last Wednesday that Racela will replace Jong Uichico as coach of TNT Katropa in time for the next PBA season, thus causing a bit of distraction in the Tamaraws’ bid for a second straight crown.
He is expected to finish his FEU duties before starting the biggest break of his coaching career.
While Racela remained mum since news of his appointment broke out, he did send out a tweet saying “Still charging!!!” that an emoji resembling a Tamaraw.
His biggest concern about the Tamaraws is their recent play, particularly in the 59-48 win over the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers last Oct. 12 when they played inconsistent on both ends.
“I kept reminding them to play hard and play correctly,” he said after beating UST. “As a coach, when you see those things (inconsistency), that’s a sign of complacency.”
FEU, in second place at 7-2 trailing only unbeaten La Salle for the lead, can’t afford to play inconsistent against a UP side that nearly pulled an upset in their first round meeting.
In that contest, the Tams leaned on a key block by Prince Orizu and a crucial jumper by Monbert Arong to beat the Maroons, 51-49.
UP has a 3-7 record, but is coming off a commendable performance in last week’s 78-72 loss to La Salle.
Meanwhile, Adamson tries to snap a two-game skid against University of the East in the second game at 4 p.m.
The Falcons started the second round with back-to-back losses to drop in fourth place at 4-5. A win over the Red Warriors would give them a one-game lead over the also-struggling National University Bulldogs, who are in fifth at 4-6.
UE, which fell 75-61 to Ateneo last Wednesday, is in dire need of a win to keep its slim Final Four hopes alive. The Red Warriors are dead last at 2-7.