Tams target solo lead vs Warriors

MANILA, Philippines - Surging Far Eastern University Tamaraws trains its sight on the solo lead today as it tangles with University of the East in the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball tournament at the MOA Arena.

After splitting their first two assignments, the Tams disposed of the La Salle Archers, 93-75, and the University of the Philippines Maroons, 75-58, to force a three-way tie with the University of Santo Tomas Tigers and the Ateneo Eagles in the lead.

FEU coach Nash Racela said breaking UE's trademark press would be their main concern in the 2 p.m. game.

"It's going to be tough. Hindi madaling team ang UE (UE is no easy picking) especially with the way they extend their defense, and the way they attack the basket, particularly (UE main man Bonbon) Batiller," Racela said.

The Tams have shown they're more than a Mike Tolomia and Mac Belo team in the triumph over the Maroons. The two top guns shot for a combined 16 points while the likes of Raymar Jose (11), Achi Inigo (10), Roger Pogoy (10) gave significant contributions to underscore the team's balanced attack.

"I think this is the ideal stat-line for us - very balanced. It's not nice if one scores 26 or 29 and the rest becomes decoration.  I think over the years that's something we have developed, we're involving everyone. Like today (Sunday), highest pointer was only 11 points, taking just nine shots," said Racela.

The Warriors are eager to get back on track after falling to the Eagles, 72-77, last Saturday, for a 2-2 card.

Meanwhile, National U seeks its second straight win in five games as it plays winless Adamson (0-4), which will enter the 4 p.m. matchup without suspended coach Mike Fermin.

The Bulldogs stopped a three-game skid last Saturday with a morale-boosting 55-54 squeaker over the erstwhile unbeaten Tigers. They hope this will spark their climb up the standings.

"Malaking bagay iyon kasi (it's a big win because) when you're down 0-4, the morale of the boys (are affected), you know these are still young men and their confidence level is easily shattered. So we just have to remind them don't be defined by the losses, continue working hard and playing together," said Altamirano.

NU is favored to pick up win No. 2 against the Falcons.

"Adamson is not the same Adamson as last year. You can't take them lightly. So we have to really come out and play our best against Adamson," said Altamirano.

"But more than Adamson, it's us now. We're trying to climb our mountain and we just have to take it one game at a time and just focus on our game - getting better, improving on what we do and getting more confident," he added.

Fermin was suspended after getting thrown out for his "slit-throat" gesture in AdU's 71-88 loss to the Archers.

comments powered by Disqus