On-fire Archers brace for 'hard road' as UAAP Final 4 looms

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
On-fire Archers brace for 'hard road' as UAAP Final 4 looms
Kevin Quiambao of La Salle
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Despite winning seven straight games in UAAP Season 86, the La Salle Green Archers are bracing for a “hard road” ahead, head coach Topex Robinson said. 

After La Salle’s 80-70 victory over the FEU Tamaraws Wednesday evening, Robinson said that the journey will only be tougher heading into the Final Four. 

The Archers will be facing rivals Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

This is a crucial game for both teams, as the Taft-based cagers are trying to crack into the top two spots for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis. The Katipunan-based dribblers, on the other hand, need to win to ensure a spot in the Final Four.

“We know that it’s gonna be a hard road from here on and we just wanna make sure that we will always be ready,” Robinson told reporters. 

He cited their match against the Tamaraws wherein they had to pull away late to secure their seventh straight victory. 

“Saturday’s gonna be a different species, different situation. We do not want [to focus] on that seven straight wins or six. It should not define us as a team,” the coach added. 

The mentor also underscored the need of the team to play as a team and to continue enjoying basketball. 

“Again, we will not define this team with that record. We reminded everybody that there’s more to life than this basketball game. We just do not want to lose our enjoyment of the game,” he stressed. 

“The reason why we’re succeeding is because again… as long as we enjoy each other’s company, we don’t put so much pressure on ourselves, and just try to enjoy this moment. Winning will be the byproduct in the end”.

Since their 67-64 defeat against UP in the first round of the elims, La Salle has been on a tear, overcoming UE, UST, NU, UP, Adamson, UE and FEU. 

Except for an eight-point win over UE and a nine-point triumph against the Fighting Maroons, all games were double-digit victories for the Archers. They tied with the NU Bulldogs with a 10-3 slate. 

A win by La Salle and a loss by NU to league-leading UP on Sunday would hand the former the coveted twice-to-beat edge.

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