UAAP 82: FEU, UST in do-or-die tiff as stepladder semis begin

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2019 05:44 AM

UAAP 82: FEU, UST in do-or-die tiff as stepladder semis begin 1
FEU's Alec Stockton defends UST's Rhenz Abando. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University will figure in a knockout game to kick off the stepladder semifinals in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Growling Tigers and the Tamaraws finished with identical 8-6 records after the elimination round, but the Tams took the No. 3 seed by virtue of a superior point differential.

Game time is at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to play twice-to-beat University of the Philippines in the next phase of the stepladder. Already waiting in the best-of-3 finals are the unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles.

"We had 8 to 10 days to prepare," said UST head coach Aldin Ayo. "Nagpahinga kami, nag-regroup kami after noong eliminations. Nag-focus kami sa FEU for preparation."

"We are just going to do our best," he said.

UST and FEU split their meetings in the elimination round.

The Growling Tigers claimed an 82-74 triumph in the first round, but the Tamaraws got them back in the second with a 72-58 victory. FEU ended up winning four of its last five games to enter the semis on a strong note.

"We have momentum because of the way we're playing, and the wins we had to finish the eliminations," said FEU coach Olsen Racela.

"But I told them it doesn't mean anything. Pagdating ng Final 4, it's a different level."

Racela is counting on his veterans — notably Ino Comboy and Kenneth Tuffin — to anchor the team, which features the young backcourt of Royce Alforque and LJ Gonzales. 

"I told my veterans to help out the young ones — those who have been there and know what it takes to make it further," he said.

UST, meanwhile, will once again lean on Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando and veteran point guard Renzo Subido, who have been their sources of strength in the eliminations. 

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