Feature: By the Numbers: July 30-Aug 3
Posted Aug 4th 2014
By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 23rd 2014
After two blowouts, National University faces its first real test.
The Bulldogs battle winless powerhouse De La Salle University in the 77th UAAP men's basketball tournament Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, with both teams raring to make a statement.
The Sampaloc cagers have been very impressive this season, trumping both University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines in their two games by an average of 15 points.
But coach Eric Altamirano doesn't want to put much meaning into their strong start.
"We're thinking about one game at a time," he said while adding that he wants NU to be more consistent.
The Bulldogs haven't gone off to a quick start in their first two matches, but both times zoomed in the third period to break the game wide open and pull away.
Against the Green Archers, they couldn't afford another flat opening, as the defending champions have quickly stepped on the gas in their games before sputtering in the middle quarters.
"We need to play better than the way we played today," Altamirano said. "Talagang (La Salle is a) tough nut to crack. We have to really prepare well."
NU will have an advantage at the point, with Gelo Alolino having the best stretch of his collegiate career and he will be going up against a La Salle side without regular starter Thomas Torres, who fractured his right foot against Ateneo.
It will be a tough battle up front, with Alfred Aroga and Troy Rosario taking on Arnold van Opstal and Jason Perkins.
"It has to be a collective effort," Altamirano shared. "Ang importante is we do our job on defense, and the offense will take care of itself."
The game will air live at 4 p.m. on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23, BALLS HD SkyCable 167, uaapsports.tv, iwantv.com, TFC Bro and tfc.tv with a same day replay at 11 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.