MANILA, Philippines - Pacesetting Ateneo (7-1) has the numbers on Far Eastern (7-2) in their head-to-head duel but Blue Eagles coach Norman Black warned against taking it easy against the Tams when they tangle again in today’s UAAP Season 75 men’s basketball tourney at the MOA Arena.
Especially coming off a rather ugly game that saw them limp to a 73-66 verdict over University of the Philippines last Saturday.
“We definitely have to play a lot better (than the UP game) if we want to win,” said Black, ruing the Eagles’ so-so performance against the Maroons in an outing wherein they shot poorly from the perimeter (4-of-19, 21 percent), and yielded 20 points off their 19 turnovers.
“We can’t afford to play like that, otherwise, we’re going to be in big trouble against FEU,” he added.
The Eagles have beaten the Tams in their last seven games since the finals of Season 73. In their first meeting this year, AdMU wiped out the Tams’ 12-point lead with a blistering assault in the second half en route to a 74-71 triumph.
“I’ve been telling the guys to work on our fourth-quarter execution. That’s been our problem the last two years against Ateneo. We’ve had good games the three quarters but tended to fade in the fourth,” said FEU coach Bert Flores.
As always, Ateneo behemoth Greg Slaughter is a major concern for the Tams.
“We have to be more aggressive inside and not think about how tall Slaughter is,” said bruiser Arvie Bringas.
The Tams are on a two-game roll, crushing Santo Tomas (87-60) then bucking a sloppy start to beat Adamson, 76-68.
Tickets to the 4 p.m. matchup pitting last season’s finalists are sold separately from the first game featuring UST (7-2) and La Salle (5-3).