Mendoza: UAAP battles for Final 4 now getting hotter-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
INTERESTING surely are the UAAP basketball games today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
Adamson battles University of the Philippines at 1 p.m. and National University clashes with University of the East at 4 p.m.
UP’s 0-9, win-loss card now seems to have irreversibly marooned the Maroons. It will take a monumental miracle for the Diliman dribblers to climb out of the grave. Newly-appointed coach Rey Madrid needs a divine intervention as big as the parting of the Red Sea to thwart imminent elimination.
As for Adamson, it is a must-win against UP as its 3-8 mark also puts the Falcons on the brink. Adamson is three games behind Ateneo and La Salle, sharers of third to fourth places with similar 6-4 records.
UE is alone at 5-4 so that its meeting with NU today is also crucial as the fifth-running Warriors are also grappling for a spot in the 8-school tournament’s Final 4 picture.
As I write this, UE’s appeal to the Committee to lift, if not lessen, the two-game suspension of UE’s two mainstays—African behemoth Charles Mammie and defensive specialist Lord Casajeros—is under review.
Gunning for their 8th win today, the Bulldogs are heavily favored to defeat the crippled Warriors and tie idle Far Eastern University for the lead at 8-3.
But admittedly salivating as the games are on the UAAP menu today, equally interesting, if not more interesting, would be the game tomorrow between Ateneo and La Salle.
Deadlocked at 6-4, the winner would clinch solo No. 3 and solidify its campaign for a much-coveted Final 4 appearance.
Of late, La Salle has been showing resplendent resurgence but then, equally brilliant was Ateneo’s showing in its last five games.
Finding itself almost a co-kisser of the cellar with UP with a 1-4 record, the five-time winner Ateneo displayed delightful dexterity anew to fire-ball five straight wins and re-enter the Magic 4.
Without a doubt, Kiefer Ravena, back from a foot injury, was Ateneo’s Chief Eagle in this feisty flight back to trophy kingdom.
Dismissed as a goner at the start, Ateneo achieving a “6-peat” looms, suddenly, in the horizon.
The thrill lives on.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 31, 2013.