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Ateneo Aims to Capitalize on UE’s Loss of ‘Precious’ Edge

The calm before the storm. Three playdates remain for the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament as only one Final Four slot is left to be filled after Wednesday’s heavy four-game schedule.
Defending champion Ateneo takes the Mall of Asia Arena floor at 11 a.m. when it battles a short-handed University of the East (UE) side, before the Blue Eagles watch National University (NU) try to win against Adamson in the 6 p.m. game. The Red Warriors will be without Precious Momowei, who was slapped a one-game suspension for a second unsportsmanlike foul in the season against La Salle, disqualifying him from winning any individual award.
Expected wins by the Eagles and the Bulldogs will make Ateneo the No. 4 team, but La Salle and University of the Philippines (UP), who battle separate foes in the middle two games, will also need to prevail over Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas (UST), respectively, to secure their spots.
The Fighting Maroons and Bulldogs are tied for the lead at 10-2 with the Green Archers a game behind. La Salle has won its first six games of the second round and is not expected to encounter much trouble against the Tamaraws in the 4 p.m. game. The Maroons will be too much for the Growling Tigers in the 2 p.m. game if their 31-point massacre of UST in the first round is considered. Ateneo-La Salle happens on Saturday with the Green Archers having a shot at becoming the No. 2 team behind the winner of the UP-NU clash on Sunday with a win.