Preview: Red-hot UE tackles ice-cold FEU

Levi Verora
A red-hot UE battles an ice-cold FEU side in UAAP Season 76.

STRUGGLING. Romeo has made less than 20% of his shots in the 2nd round. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

MANILA, Philippines — Teams continue to battle for supremacy in the the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament this Sunday, August 25, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with University of the East seeking a 5th straight victory against slumping Far Eastern University.

FEU Tamaraws vs UE Red Warriors

First round meeting: FEU (89) – (78) UE

READ: Romeo, Garcia team up to lead FEU comeback vs UE

Why FEU will win: The Tamaraws found a new 1-2 punch in Mac Belo and Roger Pogoy. The two forwards stepped up when FEU’s backcourt struggled, combining for 32 points and 17 boards in FEU’s loss to DLSU. This is the support they need if they want to avoid a 3rd straight setback. Spitfire guard Mike Tolomia will take the big shots in the absence of suspended RR Garcia.

Why UE will win: The Red Warriors have affirmed their powerhouse status with 4 straight victories.  Since Garcia is out, Sumang will outrun and outgun everybody else on that FEU roster. Charles Mammie will be a beast down low while shooters Ralf Olivares and Lordy Casajeros will give the Recto squad more offense.

Key Match-up:

Anthony Hargrove (4.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1 BPG) vs  Charles Mammie (13.9 PPG, 17.4 RPG)

Anthony Hargrove will be much needed by the Tamaraws today for his defensive game. He doesn’t score that much but the hardworking American is definitely an inside stopper. He will try to contain the bigger Mammie, who is trying to bounce back from a foul-plagued first round encounter against FEU.

X-Factors:

FEU: Terrence Romeo

You read that one right. The leading UAAP MVP contender turned back to his old form as he has shot a miserable 7-for-34 in the second round. Romeo must start making shots if he wants FEU to break the drought. If the shots continue to fail to find the bottom of the net, he should look for other ways to help the Tams.

UE: Gino Jumao-as

Roi Sumang is playing 33 heavy minutes per game so it’s up to Jumao-as to do things on the floor to help his team and give their star point guard a longer rest. Besides, he’s fast enough to give FEU’s backcourt a hard time.

What this game means: FEU’s hot 7-0 start has quickly evaporated with the way they’ve been playing in the second round. It’s a pivotal game for the Morayta 5 if they want a good grasp of the Final Four berth. UE, who ranks 3rd with a 5-3 record, wants more cushion against the other teams as the league nears its homestretch. – Rappler.com