MANILA, Philippines -- Neither team has a clear advantage when University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Far Eastern University (FEU) battle in the first phase of the UAAP Season 82 stepladder semifinals, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
This, according to UST head coach Aldin Ayo.
"I believe na walang may advantage," said Ayo, who led the Growling Tigers to the semifinals in his second season in charge. "Coin flip ito."
"Magdedepende na lang sa laro ito," he added.
The two team's history this season backs up Ayo's stance. The Tigers won their first round meeting, an 82-74 shootout, but FEU bounced back by stifling UST in the second round for a 72-58 triumph.
Even their win-loss records show how tight the two teams are. Both UST and FEU finished with 8-6 slates, with the Tamaraws getting the No. 3 seed by virtue of a superior point differential.
With how competitive both teams have been in the elimination round, Ayo is expecting no less than another dogfight when they face off in the stepladder.
And he wants the Growling Tigers to simply stick to what has worked for them in the crucial showdown.
"We are just going to play our game," he stressed. "Nothing specific."
"Ang gusto lang namin, malaro 'yung laro namin," he added. "If we play well and execute the game plan, we have a chance to win tomorrow."
The winner of the game advances to the next phase of the stepladder, where twice-to-beat University of the Philippines is waiting.
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