MANILA — The exciting elimination round of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) paved the way for the unpredictable and wide race to the Final Four of the men’s senior basketball category with twice-to-beat incentives are still up for grabs.
After the elimination rounds, there will be a playoff for the No.2 spot that comes with an advantage of twice-to-beat. Aside from this, there might be another playoff round for the last contender for the Final Four.
“Everyone’s chasing a game here and there,” said La Salle coach Juno Sauler. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a circus for the teams that are involved.”
So far, Ateneo and Far Eastern University are the only teams assured of Final Four appearance. Both will face each other on Sunday for the No.1 seed and winner of the first twice-to-beat advantage. The loser will go into playoff for the No.2 spot against the winner of the La Salle-National University game on Saturday also.
The Archers and Bulldogs can still make it to the No.2 slot. But a loss will endanger their changes. The losing team will drop to fourth place, but its chances of making it to the semifinals is still hanging by a thread.
The University of the East which is at fifth place still has a game against University of Santo Tomas. If they win, they will contend for the fourth place. If this happens, there will be another playoff for the loser of the NU-La Salle loser against UE.
“We want to run our own race,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano. “What’s important is we take care of our own business and we’ll see from there.”
Meanwhile, the Warriors aim to sustain their winning momentum.
“We still have to take care of things on Tuesday,” coach Derrick Pumaren said of his Warriors, who, just two weeks ago, looked out of the running. “We can’t be too happy. Big wins for us, but we’re not there yet.”