UP, NU aim to stay on top

Games today:
(Mall of Asia Arena)
11 a.m. — La Salle vs NU
1 p.m. — Ateneo vs Adamson
4:30 p.m. — UE vs UP
6:30 p.m. — UST vs FEU

Staying on top of the standings is the mission of defending champion University of the Philippines and National University when they march to battle against separate foes in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Sporting similar 4-1 win-loss records, the Fighting Maroons will try to protect their lofty spot in a showdown with surging University of the East at 4:30 p.m. while the Bulldogs open the quadruple header playdate at 11 a.m. hoping to snag win No. 5 against De La Salle University.

Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University and Adamson University cross paths at 1 p.m. while University of Santo Tomas takes on winless Far Eastern University at 6:30 p.m.

UP eyes to start a winning run after defeating the Blue Eagles, 76-71, in overtime last Sunday in a rematch of Season 84 Finals.

Despite the morale-boosting rebound win after suffering a shocking upset to NU last week, Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwin Monteverde reminds his wards not to take the Red Warriors lightly.

“We can’t take any team lightly this season. We have to be ready and on our guard at all times,” Monteverde said.

UP saw the return of playmaker JD Cagulangan against Ateneo after missing four games. He and other Fighting Maroons standouts Carl Tamayo, James Spencer, Zavier Lucero and Malick Diouf will again banner the squad’s search for its fifth win.

But it won’t be an easy task.

UE after winning two straight games is suddenly inside the top four with a 3-2 record tied with the Green Archers and the Blue Eagles.

Luis Villegas, Nick Paranada and Federic Antiporda are expected to deliver the same performance that keyed the Red Warriors’ 78-68 victory over the Tigers last Sunday.

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