by Waylon Galvez
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3:30 p.m – De La Salle vs FEU
It’s a game of death but Far Eastern University coach Olsen Racela appears cool and confident when they face the La Salle Archers today for the fourth semis berth in the UAAP men’s basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With their collective prayer answered by the return of center Prince Orizu from injury, Racela, a former Ateneo stalwart, said they are not only in full force in their 3:30 clash with the Archers but are also inspired by their 82-56 thumping of No. 2 Adamson at the close of double-round elims last Sunday.
“It’s good that we have him back,” said Racela of the 6-foot-7 Orizu, who missed four games in the second round due to a left sprained ankle but played in the team’s last three games.
FEU’s win forced a three-way tie for fourth to sixth places with DLSU and University of the Philippines at 8-6.
By emerging with the superior quotient, the Maroons claimed the No. 3 spot, leaving the Tamaraws and the Green Archers to dispute the fourth and final semifinal berth.
The winner will face defending champion Ateneo, the twice-to-beat top seed that finished with the best record at 12-2, on Sunday at the Big Dome.
Adamson, which finished with a 10-4 card, tackles UP on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
FEU won its first meeting with La Salle, 68-61, but the Archers avenged that defeat in the second round following a 65-57 decision against a team that played without Orizu.
Forward Leo Santillan led DLSU’s charge with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while center Justin Baltazar had 15 points off the bench.
Racela expects the game to be close, similar to what happened in their first the two matches this season.