(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2 p.m. — FEU vs UST
6 p.m. — Ateneo vs La Salle
Defending champion Ateneo de Manila University and streaking De La Salle University rekindle their storied rivalry in an explosive match today with much at stake to end their University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 men’s basketball tournament elimination round campaign at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6 p.m. encounter has huge implications for both teams’ fate in the next round.
Meanwhile, also-ran Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas look to end their disappointing campaign on a winning note at 2 p.m.
Still unbeaten in the second round, the Green Archers will try to ride the momentum of their seven-game winning streak to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Holding a 10-3 win-loss record at second spot tied with idle National University, La Salle only needs to exact revenge over its first-round tormentor to secure a semis bonus.
A victory by the Green Archers coupled with a win by league-leading University of the Philippines (11-2) tomorrow over the Bulldogs will hand the Topex Robinson-mentored squad the Final Four No. 2 seed.
In case La Salle pulls through and NU beats UP for a three-way tie at 11-3, the Green Archers will advance to the semis as the top seed due to superior tiebreak.
But Robinson doesn’t want his wards to get too distracted with what’s at stake.
“We try to take out that revenge vocabulary in our system and we just want to be the better team come Saturday. Whoever the team is we’re gonna play, it just so happened to be Ateneo,” Robinson said.
“It just so happened they’re the last team that we’re gonna play and the team that beat us in the first round. It shouldn’t define how we’re gonna approach this Saturday game. It should be just doing our best, outworking the other team.”