The DLSU Green Archers are in for a tough challenge as they will be facing an undefeated UE Red Warriors squad in the 2015 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup this Saturday, May 16, at the San Juan Arena.
Fresh off an overtime victory against UP, La Salle will look to build on the solid performances of sophomore Prince Rivero, who led the Taft-based squad with 25 points and 18 rebounds, and rookie Andrei Caracut, who added 15 points in what has so far been a promising tournament for the former San Beda Red Cub.
UE has been on a roll since the start of the tournament, winning their first four games even without several key players from their previous UAAP season. Star guards Roi Sumang and Bong Galanza are no longer with the team, as are imports Charles Mammie and Moustapha Arafat. Yet, the new look Warriors are as dangerous as ever with their revamped lineup and with former DLSU coach Derrick Pumaren at the helm.
In UAAP Season 77, DLSU and UE split their season series, with the Green Archers winning the first round and the Red Warriors grabbing the second round game. Jeron Teng had an all-around performance of 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists in the La Salle’s 60-58 first round win. Meanwhile, Galanza scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Recto-based squad’s 68-66 conquest. Both games went down to the final possession and were both decided by only two points.
In this clash of rival teams from the same league, expect a down to the wire match that will serve as a season preview for fans of both sides. DLSU will look to maximize its rotation, while at the same time giving its rookies as much exposure as possible before UAAP Season 78 begins. UE, on the other hand, will look to sustain their success and at the same time, find that reliable option that will replace Sumang in crunch time situations.
With both teams undergoing major player changes, it will be an interesting match-up to see which stars will step up to bring their team to the coveted victory this weekend.