Nobody is more dangerous than a bleeding foe.
That explains why Ateneo coach Sandy Arespacochaga is reminding his wards to stay on their toes on Saturday when they take on winless University of the East on Saturday in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game time is at 4 o’clock, with the Blue Eagles (2-2) out to recover from a painful 61-62 setback dealt by the Adamson Soaring Falcons behind Dawn Ochea’s fade-away jumper with 1.3 seconds to play exactly a week ago.
While they’re eager to get back on track, Arespacochaga couldn’t help but be worried going up against the Red Warriors, who have lost their first four matches, including a 71-75 defeat against University of the Philippines last Wednesday.
“UE’s record does not show how good that team is. Their games have been close and could have gone either way. We expect them to play with more intensity, aggressiveness and determination so we have to match that,” he stressed.
Aware that frustration is starting to pile up among the Red Warriors, UE coach Derrick Pumaren is urging his wards to keep a positive approach moving forward.
“We just have to stay positive. We know Ateneo is a very good team and we have to be ready to compete with them. We have to come out and show our true worth for us to break into the winning column,” he stressed.
While sophomore guard Aaron Black won’t play for the second straight time, Ateneo is hoping the likes of Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong, skipper Vince Tolentino, guard Matt Nieto and import Chibueze Ikeh will rise to the challenge.
Tipped to lead the way for UE are sophomore guard Bonbon Batiller, Mark Olayon, rookie Alvin Pasaol and Renz Palma. – By Jerome Lagunzad