Saturday, 10 September 2011

UAAP 74: Sweep or bust for Ateneo as Adamson tries to play spoilers role

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, September 10, 2011 0 comments

by Reuben Terrado/JVP, GMA News

All the talk on Ateneo's quest for an elimination round sweep ends Saturday when the Blue Eagles go for the rare feat against Adamson in the 74th UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Blue Eagles take on the Falcons at 3 p.m. to clinch an outright finals berth.

And now that completing a 14-game sweep is within Ateneo's reach, coach Norman Black said that they will definitely be going for that incentive.

"There's an incentive that goes with winning. It's worth going for and it's worth striving for," Black said.

Adamson, which is also aiming for a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four, is the last team standing in Ateneo's way to becoming only the third team to complete an elimination round sweep.

University of Santo Tomas' Growling Tigers first accomplished the feat in 1993 with the Aric Del Rosario as coach, winning the title outright. The following year, the UAAP changed the rules and used the Final Four format.

Happenstance for Adamson as its Falcons were in the same situation almost 18 years ago.

Back in Season 56, Adamson was UST’s last victim en route to completing a 14-game sweep as the Falcons dropped a 75-68 decision opposite the Growling Tigers on September 18, 1993.

Adamson is hoping it will be a different result this time when the Falcons try to foil Ateneo's bid of sweeping the elimination round.

Adamson Leo Austria also remains confident about their chances of stunning the Blue Eagles.

"We are still in a better position than UST and FEU. We win against Ateneo and all those tough losses will all be gone," said Austria.

The Falcons, however, are coming off a 74-58 loss to UST last week. A win would have given them the outright No. 2 spot but now they are in a must-win situation to avoid a possible playoff for the second seed in the semifinals with the Growling Tigers.

Black expects a defensive struggle between the two teams as proven by the Blue Eagles' 55-51 win over the Falcons in their opening game of the season.

"We are in contrast in a way that we are a team that wants to attack inside the paint either on fastbreaks or using our size in the post or with slashes to the basket. Adamson is more of a perimeter team, they make a lot of three-point shots," said Black.

Expectations are quite high for Adamson to stop Ateneo's quest for a sweep which may be one of the reasons for the Falcons' loss to UST last week.

“We have to live up with the expectations of the community. Alam kong inaabanagan ito na makapagbigay ng laban at ma-stop namin ‘yung sweep. It was good that we had a one-week break so my players can rest and reflect on a tough loss," said Austria.

In the first game, University of the East—the second team that accomplished an elimination round sweep in 2007—and University of the Philippines battle for pride when the two cellar dwellers clash to wrap up their season at 1 p.m.

The Red Warriors and the Fighting Maroons share last place with a 2-11 card and both teams are eager to end the season on a high note.

UP has a slight advantage after it claimed its first victory over UE, 69-61, in the first round last July 14.

— Reuben Terrado/JVP, GMA News


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