MANILA—A guaranteed Final Four stint hasn’t lessened the pressure for Ateneo and Adamson in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
The Blue Eagles hope to sustain their sweep bid while the Falcons try to close in on the remaining semifinal bonus as the two leaders battle separate opponents Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ateneo coach Norman Black admitted to discussing the possibility of a 14-game sweep with his Eagles, who will shoot for a 12th straight win against the already-eliminated University of the Philippines at 3 p.m.
“We’ve talked about it just to let it out in the open and stop whispering about it,” said Black. “We just decided that we’ll take it one game at a time. It’s important for the players to just focus on UP.”
The Falcons, who clinched the second Final Four slot with an 8-3 record, clash with another also-ran, the University of the East, at 1 p.m.
Adamson coach Leo Austria said his team aims to solidify its hold of second spot, which comes with the twice-to-beat Final Four bonus.
Austria noted that idle Far Eastern U, running third at 7-4, remains a strong contender for the semifinal bonus given to the top two teams at the end of the elimination round.
“We want to avoid any complications with FEU,” he said. “Every win for us is important.”
Although Adamson routed UE, 85-54, in the first round, Austria said the Warriors have vastly improved in their recent games.
“They have nothing to lose and their players are enjoying the game,” Austria said of the Warriors, who bowed out of contention along with the Maroons at 2-9.