UST just experienced their first loss in a close fight against NU, while Ateneo is currently enjoying a three-game win streak after falling to FEU in their opening match.
The Tigers have been banking on the duo of Ed Daquioag (20.5 PPG, 55.2 TS%) and Kevin Ferrer (16.8 PPG, 53.3 TS%) who are among the top five scorers in the league so far in the season. Ateneo’s main agenda is to keep these two in check and limit their production. Daquioag, in particular, has been quite a revelation with his much-improved offensive repertoire, surprising everyone with his fearless attacks and big time plays.
The key advantages for the Blue Eagles are their offensive rebounding and bench production. Karim Abdul will have his hands full trying to box out Chibueze Ikeh, who has been a monster on the offensive glass (6.8 per game, tops the league). Abdul will also struggle to impose his dominance in the paint with Ikeh blocking close to 8 percent of opponents’ field goals (also number one in the league).
The bench players of Ateneo have been taking turns in stepping up to help Kiefer Ravena carry the load, and that’s bad news for the Tigers who can’t get significant contributions outside of their starters. Von Pessumal finding his shooting groove back (six triples in their last outing) will also be huge for the Eagles’ campaign.
Featured image courtesy of Mark Cristino, ABS-CBN News