Spotless FEU takes on NU; Ateneo battles UE

Michael Angelo Jugado
UAAP Season 76 Wednesday action features FEU against NU and Ateneo versus UE.

MANILA, Philippines — Toting a 4-0 record, league-leading Far Eastern University doesn’t want to be pressured despite having an unblemished record so far.

Putting a premium on defense is their battlecry and head coach Nash Racela knows that it can propel them to the top.

The raging Tamaraws go for their 5th straight win and stay atop the team standings when they take on National University in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday, July 17, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Morayta crew is fresh from an 83-79 triumph over De La Salle University in overtime and is hoping to continue its hot start. Racela sees defense as a big factor in their campaign this year and doesn’t want the team to be pressured because of their impressive showing.

Ang key talaga for us, if we want to go far this season ay kailangan dumepensa talaga kami,” said FEU’s rookie coach. “When you start thinking about the people around you, ‘yung mga alumni at ibang tao, that can be the start of your downfall.”

“You always need to have control in your mind,” he added.

The deadly triumvirate of spitfire guard Terrence Romeo, former MVP RR Garcia and Mike Tolomia, Rogor Pogoy, Anthony Hargrove, Mark Belo and Carl Bryan Cruz will lead the Tams’ assault.

On the other hand, the Bulldogs are coming off from a 74-60 drubbing of University of the Philippines and is gunning for its fourth win.

NU will rely on reigning back-to-back UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks, behemoth Jean Mbe, Gelo Alolino, Troy Rosario and Dennice Villamor.

“NU is a tough team, we lost to them in the preseason and Bobby Ray is surrounded by so many good players,” said Racela of the Bulldogs’ deep line-up that does not only rely on Parks.

In the curtain raiser, defending 5-time champion Ateneo seeks a follow-up to its breakthrough win of the season and resuscitate its bid for a 6-peat when they square off with the University of the East Red Warriors.

Game time is at 2:00 p.m.

With star guard Kiefer Ravena still a doubtful starter for the Blue Eagles, big man JP Erram, athletic freshman Chris Newsome, Ryan Buenafe and Juami Tiongson will spearhead Ateneo’s bid for its second win.

The Red Warriors, meanwhile, hope to recover from a sorry 77-88 setback against University of Santo Tomas.

Crack playmaker Roi Sumang, Sierra Leonean Charles Mammie, Ralf Olivares, Chris Javier, Lord Casajeros and Jay-ar Sumido are expected to deliver the goods for the Recto-based dribblers to improve its 1-3 record. –

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