ATENEO and La Salle renew their rivalry — this time with spectators around — today to open second round action of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In their first meeting which was played behind closed doors, the four-peat seeking Blue Eagles prevailed over the Green Archers, 74-57, last April 2, but not after surviving a first half scare from their long-time nemesis.
Not only Ateneo is eyeing to extend its winning streak against La Salle to seven which dates back to the 2017 Finals in the 7 p.m. match but also to fan its remarkable run to 34 games.
The Katipunan-based squad has not dropped a match since October 10, 2018.
Enjoying its longest winning streak since 2004, University of the Philippines seeks to solidify its hold of second place against vastly-improved National University in the 10 a.m. matinee.
In other games, Far Eastern University takes on hard-luck Adamson at 12:30 p.m., while University of Santo Tomas and University of the East collide at 4:30 p.m.
The UAAP announced on Monday that starting today, there will be separate tickets for the 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. games, and for the 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. games.
After today’s four-game bill, action resumes next Tuesday after the Lenten holidays.
No brainer, the Eagles have been untouchable in the first round, but the Fighting Maroons have been solid, going 6-1 for their finest start since the 1986 championship run.
Zavier Lucero, the league’s top scorer in the first round, carried UP this far after a season-opening loss to Ateneo.
But the Maroons should be wary of the Bulldogs, who at 4-3 have achieved their best first round record since 2016. UP hopes to score a repeat of its 80-70 conquest of NU last March 31.
The last time the Maroons had a six-game winning run was in 2004 where they rebounded from a 0-6 start, only to lose steam in their Final Four bid.
(Mall of Asia Arena)
10 a.m. – NU vs UP
12:30 p.m. – FEU vs AdU
4:30 p.m. – UST vs UE
7 p.m. – Ateneo vs DLSU