Eagles know there’s a lot of work to do to catch up with archrival Archers
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 31, 2016 06:25 PM
MISMATCH. While they recognize that DLSU is, at present, the stronger team, Ateneo vowed to bring the same One Big Fight during their rivalry game.
Last May in the 2016 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament, De La Salle University crushed archrival Ateneo de Manila by 32 points, 98-66.
Then, all head coach Tab Baldwin was able to say about the performance of the Blue Eagles was, “We have to be 30 points better.”
Not much has changed three months later and now heading into the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament – the Katipunan kids know very well that they are playing catch up to their foes from Taft Avenue.
During their preseason meeting, Ateneo had no answer for Ben Mbala who muscled his way into 28 points, 16 rebounds, and three steals. Jeron Teng also stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Same as before, Chibueze Ikeh and G-Boy Babilonia will be tasked to to gang up on Mbala while everybody from Thirdy Ravena to Adrian Wong will be tasked to keep up with Teng – and the Eagles are nothing but hopeful that they all will use whatever they had learned the last time around when the rivalry game finally counts.
While they are the definite underdogs in this season’s iteration of the country’s foremost rivalry, Ateneo reminded DLSU and everybody else that the decision is far from a sure thing. As Ravena confidently put it, “Score-wise, I can’t promise anything. They’re incredibly strong and deep and we have a lot of work to do to reach them.”
He then continued, “Pero when it comes to Ateneo-La Salle, what we would promise is that we would play every single possession with our 100 percent.”
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