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Unbeaten Eagles seek outright semis vs Tams

MANILA, Philippines — Hardly rested from the hard-fought game against National U three days before, unbeaten Ateneo hits the court again today against Far Eastern U, another fierce competitor that stands in the way of the Eagles’ 10th consecutive victory and outright entry to the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball Final Four.

The Eagles had secured at least a playoff for a semis seat with an 85-72 win over the Bulldogs last Wednesday and can book the first semis seat at the expense of the Tams (5-4) in the 4 p.m. duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s just a short rest for us and we’re up against a fast, athletic FEU team so we have our work cut out for us and we need to make sure we rest and recover properly for this game,” said AdMU assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

The Eagles recognize the importance of keeping focused on the task at hand as opponents devise ways to bring them down.

“Teams will be gunning to give us our first loss but that’s not in our hands; what’s in our hands is how we approach the game mentally and how we prepare physically also,” said Arespacochaga.

The Tams come into the match fresher, having taken a breather since their 96-70 blowout of University of Santo Tomas last Sunday, but coach Olsen Racela believes they’re still the underdogs here.

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“They’ve been playing really great basketball and we’ll look for ways to try and stop them,” said Racela. “It’s gonna be a tough game for us but we’ll be there fighting.”

In the first game, La Salle (7-2) tries to maintain its hold of No. 2 position against pursuing Adamson (6-3).

AdU coach Franz Pumaren and his crew are planning an ambush against the Archers.

“We have some things in store for the Saturday game. We saw the date, we saw the things we need to do for us to beat the defending champions,” he said.

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