Surging Tamaraws test Maroons’ mettle
WHEN Far Eastern University plays the University of the Philippines Maroons at the resumption of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s baskteball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum at 4 p.m. today, expect a deadlier Mac Belo to show up.
Already an offensive threat, Belo added another dimension in his game, dishing out a more defense-oriented game that had clamped down on opponents’ gunners.
Belo’s defense was a highlight in the Tamaraws’ 66-61 victory over the Blue Eagles last week, as he hounded Ateneo’s top guns Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal no end, while also contributing on the offensive end.
“It’s part of Mac’s improvement. Kasi dati, he is used to guard bigger guys sa ilalim. When he started playing with Gilas, doon siya natuto,” said FEU coach Nash Racela after the Tamaraws posted their seventh win in eight games, the same card that the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers carry.
A win over the Maroons will again send FEU to the solo lead.
In the 2 p.m. schedule, the De La Salle University Green Archers battle the University of the East Warriors, even as the Archers welcome back Andrei Caracut, who missed their game last Sundy against the Growling Tigers. The Green Archers lost that game to drop to en even 4-4 (win-loss) card.
With Caracut back in the fold, La Salle coach Juno Sauler said he expect the Green Arches to play a more steady game against the dangerous Warriors.
“He’ll be ready on Wednesday,” said Sauler of Caracut.
The Warriors last week ended a four-game losing skid by beating reigning champion National University, 52-47, and are expected to give La Salle a good fight. Peter Atencio
Against the Bulldogs, Chris Javier had 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Paul Varilla added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who now share a 3-5 win-loss slate at third with NU and UP.
UE pulled of the win despite shooting 23-of-72 (32 percent) from the field. The team’s defense, however, forced NU to an even worse 16-of-57 shooting from the field.
“We stuck to our game plan defensively. We weren’t playing well but our defense carried us in this game. We still have to correct our mistakes,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren.
2 p.m. • La Salle vs UE
4 p.m. • FEU vs UP