UP Maroons aim for 3rd consecutive victory in UAAP
NIEL VICTOR MASOY
The Manila Times
DEFENDING champion University of the Philippines (UP) faces Far Eastern University (FEU) today, October 8, as the Fighting Maroons gun for a 3-0 start in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Fighting Maroons and the Tamaraws collide at 4 p.m. for the main event of the day’s double-header. UP rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat Adamson University in overtime, 87-78, last Wednesday and start its titleretention bid with back-to-back wins. While the Fighting Maroons were elated with the two victories, their head coach Goldwyn Monteverde stressed that they need to work on their slow start. “Well, I guess whether we won via catch up or not, what’s important is that we did get the win. We just have to work it out. So, as the season progresses, I think we still do it as a team. The important thing is for us to work, and that’s something consistent for us,” said Monteverde. “Of course, we need to work on our slow starts. We need to work on how to start strong. As we saw in the second half, we’re really picking up the pace. Starting strong from start to finish is something we need to work on.” The frontcourt of Malick Diouf, Zav Lucero, and Carl Tamayo are expected to lead UP along with guard Terrence Fortea, who has been playing well while Season 84 Finals hero and starting point guard JD Cagulangan is still recovering from a muscle strain injury. Meanwhile, the Tamaraws look to turn things around after starting the season with two straight losses capped by a 6676 setback against the University of the East (UE) last Wednesday. FEU head coach Olsen Racela said that his team needs to play better, especially on the defensive end of the floor. “We have to do a better job of really defending, especially one on one. In this game (against UE), our guards have to do a better job taking care of their responsibilities. But the bottom line is we have to be better all around, especially on defense. I’m really looking for improvement from us game to game,” Racela said. Meanwhile, the UE Red Warriors look to get a winning run going after finally snapping a 15-game skid that spanned three years. They won over the Tamaraws last Wednesday and are looking for a fitting follow up against the still winless Adamson team. The Red Warriors and the Soaring Falcons clash at 2 p.m.