The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons will take lessons learned from previous games that were close.
They will take extra care when the Fighting Maroons confront the University of East Warriors at 2 p.m. today at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Adamson Falcons face another tough battle when they meet the La Salle Green Archers at 4 p.m.
Coach Bo Perasol stressed the importance of going for the third consecutive win in the 82nd University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament.
With their 3-1 win-loss record, beating the Warriors will allow UP to remain behind the defending champion Ateneo Blue Eagles.
“It’s the same thing—to put value into the wins that we had in the last week. We need to go out strong against UE who is on cloud 9 right now. That’s a very dangerous team,” said Perasol.
The Maroons come into the fight in high spirits after winning by close margins over the National University Bulldogs, 80-79, in overtime; and over the Adamson Falcons, 83-82.
Kobe Paras, who averages 22.5 points will provide leadership. Bright Akhuetie brings in double digit contributions with his norms of 15.75 points and 14.25 rebounds.
Teammate Javi Gomez de Liano is also a factor with his average of 14.25 points.
The Warriors are lurking at the bottom of the standings at 1-3.
With the Green Archers struggling at 1-3, Falcons coach Franz Pumaren expects La Salle to come out strong against them. Adamson is playing a hectic two-game schedule this week.
“As you can see, they have a very good team. We’re gonna watch them and observe what they’re gonna do. Hopefully, we can sustain this victory till Saturday because just like Val (Chauca), we’re still groping for form with regards to the chemistry of the team,” remarked Pumaren.
Val Chauca, a Fil-American, who just arrived three days before their opening game, averages 16.4 points and has been providing leadership for the team in their past five games.
And how Chauca blends with his teammates as the season progresses will determine the fate of the Falcons.
“As we all know, he graduated recently so he got his degree. He just started practicing with us three days before the opening. And our schedule right now, we’re playing almost every play date. It’s so hard to force him. Hopefully, we can sustain the run,” said Pumaren.