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Sports

Maroons gun for solo lead vs winless Tams

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Maroons gun for solo lead vs winless Tams
UP's Terrence Fortea
UAAP

Games Saturday
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

2 p.m. – UE vs Adamson
4 p.m. – UP vs FEU

MANILA, Philippines — Opposite attracts as unbeaten and reigning champion University of the Philippines shoots for a solo lead against consistent semifinalist but suddenly struggling Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 85 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Currently sharing the top spot with rival Ateneo at 2-0, the Fighting Maroons march into the 4 p.m. duel against the winless Tamaraws (0-2) needing win No. 3 for a solo breakaway early in the UAAP’s return to full calendar for the first time amid the pandemic.

At 2 p.m., host Adamson (0-2) guns for a breakthrough triumph against a spirited University of the East side (1-1) after falling short against UP in the weekend overtime thriller.

The Fighting Maroons in that match scored a 87-78 win from a 16-point deficit at the half highlighted by a defensive show in overtime, where the Soaring Falcons bled for just four points.

Against La Salle in the opener, UP also relied on a strong closer after a flat start – which coach Goldwin Monteverde is hoping to transform to a game-long dominance from here on.

“We need to work on how to start strong. We have to work on how we could do it from the start until the game ends,” said Monteverde, wary of a listless but always risky FEU unit.

Holder of the longest active Final Four streak at eight straight seasons, the Tamaraws on the other hand are off off to a rare, slow start with no wins to show so far after bowing to Ateneo and UE.

The biggest one yet was against the Red Warriors the Tamaraws absorbed a 76-66 loss for only the first time since 2018 – explaining their desperate need to steal one now from no less than the reigning champion.

“To get in the Final Four, we have to beat teams we’re supposed to beat. Our goal was to take care of business but we lost so kailangan makabawi kami in getting one from the favored teams,” vowed coach Olsen Racela.

BASKETBALL

UAAP

UP FIGHTING MAROONS

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