Ateneo is at 5-1 while UE is at 2-3. So the result of this game should be a no-brainer right? Wrong! Ateneo has been playing relatively well and has found ways to win versus tough opponents. UE, I believe has been playing below par because their PG Roi Sumang hasn’t produced (he is averaging “just” 15 ppg but has turned over the ball at an average of 3.8 per game) and somehow Coach Derek Pumaren hasn’t been able to get the most out of his two athletic African imports.
This is going to be another game that is too close to call. Definitely whoever has the player advantage will emerge victorious. While Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena is having a monstrous season with 20.8 ppg, this could be the game where Sumang explodes. For Ateneo, it will be up to the other players – particularly the high-flying Newsome, the rookie Tolentino, and sweet-shooting Pessumal – to provide the outside sniping. Their big men will have to find a way to contain the UE African imports namely, Arafat and Mammie. Ateneo is a relatively small team and they have difficulty against teams with two athletic imports. It will be interesting to see how Ateneo will handle the UE press. For UE, the imports will have to bully their way inside the paint and their role players need to make their outside shots.
I admit my heart bleeds blue so I would still tag Ateneo for the win, though probably by a bucket. But if UE plays well and dominates the inside, oh well…heaven forbid!