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Undermanned UE battles Ateneo in Final Four run



Games Today(Mall of Asia Arena)11 a.m. — UE vs Ateneo (men)1 p.m. — UP vs UST (men)4 p.m. — DLSU vs FEU (men)6 p.m. — NU vs AdU (men)

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)9 a.m. — UST vs FEU (women)11 a.m. — Ateneo vs DLSU (women)1 p.m. — UP vs UE (women)3 p.m. — NU vs AdU (women)

TOP rookie Precious Momowei has been slapped with a one-game suspension as the University of the East (UE) takes a major blow in its one last attempt to make a Final Four run in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s basketball tournament.

The league announced yesterday Mr. Momowei’s penalty after he infracted his second unsportsmanlike foul in the second quarter of UE’s 86-76 loss against the red-hot De La Salle University (DLSU) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum over the weekend.

Mr. Momowei committed his first unsportsmanlike foul last month in the Warriors’ 72-65 defeat against Adamson University.

He will serve his suspension today as UE, with a 4-8 record, battles Ateneo de Manila University (6-6) in a must-win match at 11 a.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena to keep its Final Four hopes alive.

The Warriors will definitely miss the services of Mr. Momowei, who’s leading the Rookie of the Year race with averages of 12. 5 points, 10. 33 rebounds, 1.17 assists, 1.25 steals and 1.83 blocks, in the crucial duel against the reigning champions. UE held its own in the first round against Ateneo before absorbing a close 76-69 loss.

In other games, leaders University of the Philippines (UP) and National University (NU) as well as the rampaging DLSU step up their drives against separate foes in an expected mad dash to a Top-Two finish for the twice-to-beat incentives in the Final Four.

All three teams are already in the semis with UP (10-2) out to bolster their bid against also-ran University of Santo Tomas (1-11) at 1 p.m. and National University (10-2) clashing against Adamson (5-7) at 6 p.m.

De La Salle (9-3), which has yet to lose in the second round with six straight wins, want no let-up against also-ran Far Eastern University (3-9) at 4 p.m. — John Bryan Ulanday

Neil Banzuelo

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