Games today (Rizal Memorial Football Stadium) 2 p.m. – DLSU vs ADMU (men semis) 4 p.m. – FEU vs UP (men semis)
Defending champion Far Eastern University clashes with last season’s runner-up University of the Philippines, even as rivals La Salle and Ateneo collide in a pair of no-tomorrow semifinals matches in the UAAP men’s football tournament today at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Unlike in the recent years where the top-ranked squads have twice-to-beat privileges, all teams are in equal footing, as the semifinals is a one-match affair, where the winners will play in the one-game finals on March 8 also at the Rizal pitch.
With reigning MVP Paolo Bugas back in harness, the second-ranked Tamaraws are slightly favored in their 4 p.m. duel with the No. 3 Maroons.
In a rematch of Season 75 semis, the top seeded Green Booters hope to sustain their unbeaten run in the tournament against the Blue Eagles, who are back in the post-season after a one-year absence, in the first match at 2 p.m. Both matches will be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action.
The FEU-UP match will feature the league’s top two scorers in the Tamaraws’ Eric Giganto and the Maroons’ Jinggoy Valmayor.
Valmayor, playing his final year for UP, is on a personal mission as he missed the championship duel against FEU last year as the national under-23 standout was then serving a two-game suspension.
La Salle will miss defender Timothy Brago, who was suspended due to cumulative yellow cards, but coach Hans Smit need not to worry on his side’s offense with Nate Alquiros, Sabin Bustamante and Chuck Uy leading the attack.
The Green Booters last won the championship in 1998.
Ateneo, the Season 75 champions, suffered a major blow on its bid to make a return stint to the Finals, as midfield general Mikko Mabanag is suspended also due to cumulative yellow cards.