The University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons are getting more confident about their games.
How the Growling Tigers will handle a tough Adamson Falcons’ team at 12:30 p.m. today will be answered when the 82nd University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament resumes today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“This time mas maganda (ang execution),” said UST coach Aldin Ayo after the Growling Tigers hurdled the National University Bulldogs, 87-74, in overtime last Sunday. “Kasi, we were able to convert and we were able to execute our plays na pang-endgame namin,”
Beninese cager Solemane Chabi Yo is expected to lead UST again as the Growling Tigers shoot for their third win in four outings.
UST is now in second spot behind the solo-leading and defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Getting past the Falcons (2-2) will keep UST firmly at the no. 2 position.
The last time around, Chabi Yo led an 8-0 run that shattered the game’s final deadlock at 73-all.
The Falcons are hurting from an 82-83 overtime loss to the UP Fighting Maroons, who will meet the National University Bulldogs at 10:30 a.m.
UP will be relying on the team’s improving chemistry in their effort to post more wins.
Later, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and the La Salle Green Archers clash at 4 p.m.
“We all know that all the teams are very strong this season so we need to take it away from them,” said UP coach Bo Perasol.
The Fighting Maroons will be banking on the leadership of Kobe Paras.
Against the Falcons, Paras showed the way with 20 points for the Fighting Maroons, who also won it in overtime, 83-82.
Bright Akhuetie, who had 18 points and 18 rebounds in that game, is again expected to play a key role in UP’s efforts, after he gave the Maroons a chance to win the game in last 2.8 seconds. Two freebies from Akhuetie off a foul from Lenda Douanga enabled the Maroons to finally overtake Adamson.
Ricci Rivero then blocked a three-point attempt by Jeron Lastimosa as time expired, allowing the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons to escape with the overtime triumph.