Ateneo's Chris Newsome goes up for a basket against La Salle. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles will look to claim a share of the UAAP lead when they play the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in the Season 77 men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Blue Eagles are currently at solo second with a 4-1 win-loss slate following their exciting 81-78 victory over Far Eastern University (FEU) last weekend. A win over the Tigers will allow them to tie the National University Bulldogs at the top spot.
Ateneo coach Bo Perasol is hoping that they can carry the momentum of their win over FEU against an unpredictable UST squad.
"I don't think they (UST) are going to be lying over and giving us the win," said Perasol. "We're going to fight for it and we'll prepare hard for it."
The Growling Tigers have built a 3-1 record so far in the tournament but have been inconsistent, as they struggled against bottom teams Adamson and University of the Philippines (UP).
They needed a last-second Kent Lao free throw to beat the Falcons, and then went down by double digits against the Fighting Maroons before regrouping in the second half.
Game time is at 4 p.m.
In the first game of the double-header, defending champions De La Salle will take on a UP squad that will be playing without head coach Rey Madrid.
Madrid will be serving the first of his two-game suspension that was handed to him by UAAP commissioner Andy Jao following his allegations of point-shaving in their loss to UST.
In a letter sent to the commissioner, Madrid apologized for his accusations, but apparently failed to "address the issue that has caused all these problems," according to Jao's reply.
"I do accept your apology. However, you must be accountable for your improper actions and statements," Jao said. "I am suspending you for the next two games of the UP Maroons. During this period, you are not allowed to be in the venue of the games of your team."
La Salle is seeking its fourth consecutive win since starting the season with back-to-back losses. UP, for its part, has lost all five of its games.
Game time is at 2 p.m.