Fabled rivals De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University clash on Wednesday night to conclude a Wednesday quadruple-header in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
This is a dream come true for new Green Archers coach Topex Robinson to face the Blue Eagles in a rare weekday elimination round rivalry game.
Robinson shared: “When I was growing up, I used to watch that rivalry, and now I’m just excited for it. It
came in so early, but whether we like it or not, we’re going to face each other,” Robinson said after La Salle opened the season with an 87-76 win over Far Eastern University on Sunday.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of hype and many stories behind the game, but at the end of the day, Ateneo remains a worthy rival. That will never change. Coach Tab Baldwin is also a worthy rival. We’ll always compete against each other, and it’s just an opportunity for me to get better learning from Coach Tab and Ateneo,” he added.
The Blue Eagles will head into their showdown with the Green Archers with their pride bruised after suffering a sound opening day defeat.
Ateneo is coming off a 64-77 loss to National University last Saturday, the Katipunan-based squad’s first season opening loss since 2018.
“I think the words that mean so much to Ateneans, ‘One Big Fight,’ the word ‘fight,’ was left out today, and that’s inexcusable,” Baldwin said. “We should be — and we are — very disappointed in our performance,” he added. How the Blue Eagles will respond to the setback against the Bulldogs remains to be seen.
“I think NU is a very good team; I think they played with a lot of composure today, and we didn’t,” said Baldwin.
“We prepare, we do our game plan for La Salle. Hopefully, our players exhibit a little more pride, and I think they will,” the four-time UAAP champion coach added.
The Bulldogs are also gunning for their second victory against the Tamaraws at 12 noon.
University of the Philippines and University of the East will dispute win No. 2 at 10 a.m., while Adamson University and University of Santo Tomas seek to rebound from their opening day losses at 2 p.m.