This weekend marks the much-anticipated UAAP Season 73 Finals match-up between the blue squad from Katipunan and the green and yellow warriors from Morayta.
The hype between these teams have gone afloat all season long it's almost foolish to think that no die-hard UAAP follower saw this newfound rivalry coming.
And for the everyday Atenistas and Tamaraws, let's just say the outskirts of Areneta Coliseum (the whole of Cubao even) would be filled with opposing colors come Saturday morning.
The FEU Tamaraws and the Ateneo Blue Eagles are headlining the finale to a season filled with winning and losing streaks, heartbreaks, and the occasional underdogs (think Adamson).
With at least two games left in Season 73, both of them just as crucial as the other, here are fine pointers for the Eagles and the Tams worth pondering upon en route to this weekend's ballgame:
FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY TAMARAWS: BREAKING THE HUMP
FEU has always been a force to clash with in the UAAP. They have the most basketball crowns, a top-notch recruitment program and the second-longest active Final Four streak.
So why do they have a Godzilla-sized chip on their shoulder? Because they’ve been the league’s biggest chokers in the last few years.
Witness: FEU has screwed their second spot in 2008 and their twice-to-beat advantage last year.
They’re also mired with countless internal problems. Whether it’s game fixing allegations, roster blow-ups or shooting incidents, FEU has proven that they really know how to screw themselves up.
But this season’s FEU squad is different: They’re focused, united, and absolutely loaded. They have the best rookie in Terrence Romeo, the best defender in Aldrech Ramos, the best aggressor in Reil Cervantes and the best player in RR Garcia.
This team has so many weapons they’d make the North Korean army proud but the most note-worthy point is that throughout this UAAP season, they were able to withstand the best of Ateneo.
If they keep their heads right, they just might be able to finally end a season with a championship.
Player to watch out for: Aldrech Ramos
It’s not like he’s been slacking, but he hasn’t really dominated on the level everybody expected this season. There were moments of brilliance, sure.
But for a guy who was touted in the preseason as the likely MVP, that’s simply not enough. Ramos was expected to dominate game in and out. And you know what? He’s more than equipped to live up to the task.
His defense can shut down anybody in the Ateneo side, and his smooth jumper is still one of the Tamaraws’ deadliest (and most underrated) weapons. Ramos is a difference-maker, and this is the best time for him to prove it.
WORDS BY PAOLO AGULTO