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Tiebreaker Times


Premier Cup winds down to Final Four

After an exciting quarterfinals that saw a champion dethroned, a new rivalry sparked, and two new contenders rising, the 2016 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup tournament is now down to just four teams.

The Jio Jalalon-powered Arellano University Chiefs take on collegiate powerhouse National University Bulldogs to open the double-header at 2:00pm. UAAP Season 79 favorites De La Salle Green Archers rekindle their rivalry against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles will serve as the main game for the day.

The National University Bulldogs, who have reloaded in the off-season, are just one of two teams to defeat the Arellano University Chiefs in the tournament. The Bulldogs needed the heroics of Adamson-transferee Matthew Aquino to secure that game in the last seconds of the game.

Entering the semifinals, NU head coach Eric Altamirano just feels blessed to have the opportunity of playing against the upper echelon of collegiate teams in the country before the real war in September. “More than anything maganda na experience para sa isang young team to be in the semis. Playing high level of teams like San Beda or Arellano,” Altamirano said after National U soundly defeated UAAP upstart Adamson. “Whoever wins that game will be a good experience for a young team like us.”Filoil-2016-NU-vs.-AU-Mosqueda Premier Cup winds down to Final Four ADMU AU Basketball DLSU News NU  - philippine sports news

Jio Jalalon though continued to be a thorn against the former Premier Cup champions San Beda Red Lions. After being the only team to sweep the Red Lions during the NCAA last season, Jalalon and the Chiefs blasted the Mendiola-based squad in the fourth period en route to their first ever Final Four appearance in the 10 year old tournament. The Gilas Cadet posted a near triple-double performance during that game with 21 points, eight rebounds, and ten assists while added five steals to his statline as well.

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For Arellano coach Jerry Condinera, the Bulldogs are one of the most well-rounded teams in the league that can have anyone take charge at any given time. “Very deceiving yung NU is the only way I can describe them. Natalo namin sila sa ibang tournament pero very equipped, fundamentally equipped,” the Defense Minister said about his semifinals opponent. “They share, they are very productive. Very selfless yung NU. I need to find a way to keep the game close.”

In the first game of the quarterfinals last Tuesday, Ateneo was able to escape the Perpetual Altas in a foul-plagued game. During the entire pre-season, no Blue Eagle can be defined as the clear-cut go-to-guy for the young team after a turbulent off-season.

Arespacochaga shared that the young Eagles are fortunate to experience a UAAP-quality game this early. “Regardless, we might face the UAAP champions or the number one contender for the UAAP based on performance and reports. It’s just a great, great opportunity for our team,” Ateneo’s long-time mentor shared about the potential of facing either FEU or La Salle. “We are looking forward to that challenge. We are going to get a UAAP-like game this off-season. That’s a very good opportunity for us. It’s going to be hard but it’s going to be good for us.”

This will be the third time the two rivals will face each other with La Salle going 2-0 against the Blue and White.
Filoil-2016-DLSU-vs.-ADMU-Mbala-Teng-4589 Premier Cup winds down to Final Four ADMU AU Basketball DLSU News NU  - philippine sports news
First-year Green Archers head coach Aldin Ayo, even in blowing out the Blue Eagles in the two games they faced and staying unbeaten in the tournament, remains wary of his opponents. “It will be a different compared to the last time. For sure mag-aadjust yung mga yun. Magagaling yung coaches nun so kung ano man ang mga adjustments na ikaka-igi ng team na yun, gagawin nila yun,” the NCAA Champion coach said after clinching the last semis seat at FEU’s expense.

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“For our part, mag-aadjust din kami. Ganun naman yung basketball, it’s a game of adjustments,” he closed.

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