MANILA, Philippines – The five teams battling for the last three spots in the UAAP Season 82 Final 4 are all in action on Wednesday, eyeing crucial wins that will take them closer to a berth in the semifinals.
University of the Philippines (UP), currently in solo second with a 7-4 win-loss record, take on National University (NU) at 10:30 a.m. at the Araneta Coliseum. The Fighting Maroons are coming off a morale-boosting, come-from-behind win over Adamson University, and another triumph will tighten their grip on the second spot.
The Bulldogs, at 2-9, are already out of the running for a Final 4 berth.
Adamson, meanwhile, tries to bounce back at 12:30 p.m. against Far Eastern University (FEU), currently at 6-6. The Soaring Falcons slid to 4-7 with their loss to UP, and will need to win the rest of their assignments to stay alive in the Final 4 race.
"We're still in the situation, it all depends on us," said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren after their 81-77 loss to the Fighting Maroons, which saw them squander a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
"We're gonna prepare hard against them," said FEU coach Olsen Racela, for his part. "That's a well-coached team. They run their system very well. Mahihirapan kami just like our other games."
"Basta lang hindi bibigay tong mga players and follow our gameplan, I think we will be okay," he added.
De La Salle University at 5-6 and University of Santo Tomas (UST) at 7-5 face off in another crucial showdown in the final game of the tripleheader at 4 p.m.
La Salle is in dire need of a bounce-back win, having suffered a brutal 81-60 defeat to FEU last Saturday. UST, for its part, is eyeing a third straight victory that will keep them in step with UP for the No. 2 seed.
"They (La Salle) are a different team compared dun sa first round," said UST head coach Aldin Ayo. "Habang tumatagal mas lalong naglalaro sila nang maayos, which is halos lahat ng team naman."
"So we'll just prepare kung ano yung meron sa kanila," he added.
Already assured of a Final 4 spot – and the No. 1 seed – is defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (12-0).
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.