The Maroons enjoyed a twice-to-beat edge but failed to secure the second finals slot when they bowed to the Tigers last Wednesday, 89-69, leading to today’s knockout match at 4 p.m.
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Maroons, Tigers clash in KO match
John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Who gets to face Ateneo in the UAAP best-of-three finals will be known today when University of the Philippines and Santo Tomas figure in a do-or-die contest at the MOA Arena.

Ateneo swept the elimination round (14-0) and gained outright entry to the finals, leading to the stepladder semis among UP, FEU and UST. The Tigers disposed of the Tams to earn the right to battle No. 2 UP.

The Maroons enjoyed a twice-to-beat edge but failed to secure the second finals slot when they bowed to the Tigers last Wednesday, 89-69, leading to today’s knockout match at 4 p.m.

The Blue Eagles, waiting in the wings, will watch the game with keen interest. It’s a good chance to scout their finals opponent as they bid for a third consecutive crown.

The showdown for this year’s UAAP crown begins Sunday – whether it’s Ateneo against UP or UST.

The Tigers have beaten the Maroons in all three matchups this season. If UP wants to avenge its defeat to Ateneo in last year’s finals, then this is the time to beat UST.

Momentum may have shifted in favor of the Tigers following their blowout win over the Maroons last Sunday. But when the season is on the line, it’s difficult to predict the outcome.

Santo Tomas coach Aldin Ayo agrees.

“They’re (Maroons) going to adjust. I think they’re going to be physical because it’s a do-or-die game where teams are going to be doing whatever it takes,” said Ayo.

Overcoming UP’s hefty twice-to-beat advantage is easier said than done for the Tigers, who are seeking their first final stint in four years.

“We know it’s difficult,” added Ayo.

This is the last chance for UP to prove that they deserve a second straight finals appearance. “This chance is going to be the last for us. So, if we want to be given the chance to be in the finals again, and deserve to be in the finals, we have to play better,” said UP coach Bo Perasol.

DO OR DIE UP UST
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