Feature: By the Numbers: July 30-Aug 3
Posted Aug 4th 2014
By Josiah Albelda Posted Sep 22nd 2013
National University goes for the first championship berth when the top seeds go up against University of Santo Tomas in the 76th UAAP men's basketball semifinals Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Bulldogs go for the kill in a bid to return to the finals and end a 59-year championship drought.
After sealing the top spot by finishing with a 10-4 card, NU coach Eric Altamirano said their work isn't done just yet.
"Hindi pa tapos nag mission naming," he said. "We have a great shot of making the finals. We just have to stay humble and hungry."
Altamirano will flash his primary weapons in former MVP Ray Parks and effective Cameroonian big man Jean Mbe as they try to oust the Growling Tigers, who eliminated the Blue Eagles last Wednesday.
"It's a blessing to be here," Parks shared. "We have to play really aggressive, try to keep the same mindset and come out with a sense of urgency."
The Bulldogs haven't tasted since the 1954-55 tournament and they would have to go through UST, who has the second-most number of UAAP seniors titles with 18, to get to the top.
Karim Abdul, who finished fourth in statistical points at the end of the elimination round, will lead the Tigers' attempt to return to the championship round after what has been a rocky season for the Espana-based squad.
Jeric Teng, Aljon Mariano and Kevin Ferrer will backstop Pido Jarencio's crew.
The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and uaapsports.tv with a same day replay at 8 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.