MANILA, Philippines – Only one week has passed in the UAAP Season 82 and there are only two teams left undefeated: the UST Growling Tigers and the two-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles.
And those two squads are set for an early 10:30 am clash to open the season’s second week on Wednesday, September 11.
For UST’s Beninese forward Soulemane Chabi Yo, his team’s 2-0 start has given them all they needed to stage a possible upset bid against the champs.
“I just tried to play [with the] team and follow the instructions of coach,” he said after their impressive 85-69 win against the loaded UP Fighting Maroons.
“We play with a system and we just have to play united. If we play as a team, we will win. We have the motivation, play with motivation and give all that [we] have.”
Recruited out of the Colegio de San Lorenzo in Quezon City, the 23-year-old stud has impressed so far with averages of 18.5 points and 15 rebounds for two games.
“That 2-0 will give us a good motivation because we're here to compete and we're looking for the championship,” he continued. “We are not participating in the league just to be in the Final Four. You always want the highest one which is the championship. So we'll fight for it.”
Pegged as a dark horse contender coming into the season, UST has burst into the season guns blazing and people have quickly taken notice.
Athletic freaks like Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando and Mark Nonoy have lived up to the hype and are – by design – running the opposition out of the court in two games so far.
With the Tigers now set to face the methodical, well-oiled machine that is Ateneo, Chabi Yo said that the game plan will not change moving forward.
“[We’ll do] the same. We just don’t need to be pressured and enjoy the game. Run the system, play defense and play as a team. That’s all.” – Rappler.com