This UAAP Season’s Final Four cannot be missed. Here’s the rundown on everything you need to know before it officially tips off.
After what has already been an exciting season filled with ups and downs for nearly every team, we’re now heading into the best part of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament: the Final Four stage.
With only four teams left to fight for the same crown, the action and the drama will surely only get even more heated from here on out, and this is one season that you’re not going to want to miss out on — trust us.
Here’s what you need to know about the UAAP men’s basketball tournament final four.
Who are the Final Four?
The UP Fighting Maroons have retained the top spot of the UAAP men’s basketball standings throughout Season 86, only succumbing to two losses to finish the elimination rounds with a 12-2 win-loss record. Having downed the NU Bulldogs in their last game of Round 2, UP secured their top seed and assured themselves that they would have to face the fourth seed in the next round with a twice-to-beat advantage.
After finishing the first round with a 4-3 card, the DLSU Green Archers made a huge comeback and went undefeated in Round 2 to end the eliminations with an 11-3 record to secure their spot in second with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Since the start of the season, the NU Bulldogs looked poised to enter the Final Four with a solid first round. Despite losses in Round 2 to their biggest competition this season, UP and DLSU, the Bulldogs already had enough to keep them within striking distance. As the third seed, they will face La Salle in the semifinals.
While the top three seeds looked set for the most part before the end of the eliminations, the battle for fourth went down to the wire. Adamson, having defeated UE in the last game of Round 2, forced a playoff game for the fourth seed against Ateneo. However, despite a rocky season, the Ateneo Blue Eagles still managed to maintain their Final Four streak with a defeat over the Falcons. They will need to beat the Fighting Maroons twice to make it back to the finals.
Which teams should I watch out for?
There will be hardly any solid predictions in this season’s UAAP Final Four stage, as both the semifinal matchups have a level scorecard, and all the games will be worth keeping up to date with.
The UP Fighting Maroons and the Ateneo Blue Eagles split their games in the elimination rounds, both taking one win and one loss from the other. However, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin recognizes that his squad is the underdog, given UP’s solidity in comparison to the Eagles’ inconsistent form. But despite this, the ‘Battle of Katipunan’ narrative is one that is loaded with meaning for the players and fans of both sides, which may very well make for a stage that sees this matchup going down to the wire.
On the other hand, the DLSU Green Archers and the NU Bulldogs are heading into the Final Four in a similar fashion. They both have one win apiece over the other from the elimination rounds, making this one another unpredictable matchup. However, while the Archers are on a winning streak, the Bulldogs are on a losing streak. Will DLSU be able to carry their momentum through to the finals, or will NU manage a comeback?
This season has definitely given us tastes of the unpredictable, making this a Final Four showdown not to be missed.
How can I watch?
The Final Four games begin on November 25 Saturday, as UP faces Ateneo and DLSU faces NU in Araneta Coliseum. There’s no better way to witness UAAP action than to watch live, especially when it comes down to the Final Four. But, if you’re going to be watching from a screen, you’ve got multiple options.
On TV, you can catch the games on the One Sports channel, and for Cignal subscribers, you can watch on the UAAP Varsity Channel. For busy bees on the go, you can subscribe to Pilipinas Live, a sports streaming app that you can access from anywhere on any device, so you never miss a beat.
Ready for the Final Four?
Images from UAAP Media.