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Hot-starting UST guns for share of UAAP lead

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 10th 2013

Jeron Teng and the rest of the UST Growling Tigers will go for their third straight win in as many assignments when they face off against the NU Bulldogs.

Hot-starting University of Santo Tomas guns for a share of the lead when they tackle National University in the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Both squads -- tipped as contenders for the title this season -- are coming off contrasting fates in their last outings, with the Growling Tigers escaping Adamson University and the Bulldogs bowing to University of the East.

And with Cameroonian Alfred Aroga confirmed to be out of the lineup, NU will be hard-pressed to make big adjustments as they try to get their bid back on track.

Despite Aroga's loss, though, UST coach Pido Jarencio isn't about to count the Bulldogs out.

"Even without Aroga, NU is still strong," Jarencio said. 

Nevertheless, Jarencio is confident that the Tigers are up to the task.

"This is a veteran team," he said. "And we will be able to adjust to whatever situation."

Jeric Teng, Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul and the struggling Aljon Mariano will man the fort for the Espana crew, who will hope to tie idle Far Eastern University for the lead with a 3-0 record.

On the other hand, reigning two-time MVP Bobby Ray Parks will look to rebound from a subpar performance against the Red Warriors and assert himself more as the Bulldogs will need more production from him.

Jean Mbe will also get additional load, so will Troy Rosario and Jeff Javillonar. 

The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and with a replay on July 11, Thursday at 9 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.