Fighting Maroons, Tamaraws eye No. 2 versus Eagles, Tigers

MANILA, Philippines — Opening-day winner University of the Philippines seeks to sustain the momentum as it eyes its own upset today against an Ateneo side determined to take off after getting caged in the kickoff weekend of the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.

The Katipunan neighbors clash at 4 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with the souped-up Fighting Maroons (1-0) looking to do an Adamson and shoot down the Blue Eagles (0-1) for the second straight game.

“We know what we can do and we all know what Ateneo is all about so we prepared for them,” said UP coach Bo Perasol, whose wards started their campaign with an 87-58 thrashing of University of the East.

“The good thing about this is in every position right now, we can match up with Ateneo. They’re the champions so we need to have our A1 game against them and do what we can do,” he added.

Heavily favored Ateneo failed to escape the upset axe against Adamson, yielding a 70-74 shocker last Sunday, but maintained everything’s under control.

“People think there’s asteroids falling outside and the world has ended but we don’t,’ said AdMU mentor Tab Baldwin.

“We have to keep our heads up and realize that we play basketball to play well. We didn’t play well enough. Now we have to learn from it, we have to continue trying to improve that so that a different result will be there,” he added.

After disposing of rebuilding La Salle, 68-61, veteran-laden Far Eastern (1-0) aims to get another good result in the 2 p.m. first game versus new-look Santo Tomas (0-1), a team now handled by former Archers tactician Aldin Ayo.