The La Salle Green Archers are so focused on winning the UAAP championship that they immediately buckled down to work after learning that the archrival Ateneo Blue Eagles will be their opponent for their best-of-three finals which starts tomorrow at the Mall of Asia Arena.
So determined are the Green Archers that they even watched the Blue Eagles’ 69-68 overtime victory over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws at the Smart Araneta Coliseum before spending close to three hours practicing at the same venue to plot their game plan.
“Ayokong magsayang ng isang practice na di pa alam kung sino ang kalaban,” La Salle coach Aldin Ayo told reporters after the Ateneo-FEU thriller. “We prepared for the two teams, ano mga ginagawa nila, pero ngayon at least alam na naming sino kalaban at makaka-focus kami sa Ateneo.”
Ateneo seems to be the perfect opponent for Ayo and company. Not only are the Blue Eagles are their biggest nemesis, but they are also out to settle matters after sustaining their lone defeat last Nov. 5.
The Blue Eagles shocked everyone that afternoon by beating the Green Archers, 83-71, a result Ayo has yet to forget.
“For our part, motivated kami kasi they took something from us,” Ayo said. “Di ko nakakalimutan yung Nov. 5 na yun e, feeling mo nawala sa’yo lahat e. Sa La Salle kasi malaki ang expectation, isang talo lang yun.”
“Pero ang kagandahan lang dun, feeling lang yun, isang talo lang naman e and we have a chance to redeem ourselves,” he added.
Ayo is glad that his players have responded to his challenge after La Salle barely beat Adamson in the Final Four.
Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala bared that they and the rest of the team are determined to regain their mean streak.