Ateneo-La Salle rematch highlights UAAP’s return to play

MANILA — The Ateneo Blue Eagles and the De La Salle Green Archers battle it out anew as the UAAP men’s basketball tournament returns from a long Halloween on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

La Salle, already assured of at least a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four looks to inch closer to a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations, which will catapult the team to the outright finals berth, in its 4 p.m. clash with its arch rival.

Ateneo, on the other hand, bats for a better chance of landing the other semifinal edge as the team is two full games behind FEU for second place with four games left in its schedule.

In their first meeting at the Mall of Asia Arena on Oct. 2, the Archers showed why they are the pre-season favorites after mauling the Eagles, 97-81, even without then suspended coach Aldin Ayo and injured captain Jeron Teng. The appearance Ayo and Teng in the team for the rematch could pose more problems for Ateneo.

In the first game at 12 p.m., struggling squads UE and NU collide as they try to salvage their flickering Final Four hopes.

Tickets for both games are separate from each other. Ivan Saldajeno/PNA-northboundasia.com