Posted Feb 16th 2014
La Salle, NU eye share of 2nd place
By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 28th 2013
Every game counts.
De La Salle University and National University battle for a share of second place as the 76th UAAP men's basketball tournament first round closes on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tied with identical 3-3 records, the Green Archers and the Bulldogs hope to join the upper half of the standings when they collide at 4:00 p.m. before an expected huge crowd at the venue.
La Salle is fresh off a huge escape from Adamson University, when, after surrendering a big fourth quarter lead for the third straight game, the Archers finally learned to go steady in crunch time.
The Taft-based squad made 18 of 22 (81.8%) free-throws in the win -- a marked improvement from the 53.8% clip they've hit their charity shots in their first five outings.
But coach Juno Sauler is still worried about his team's tendency to collapse in the fourth quarter.
"We definitely have to work on that end-game," Sauler told the media after their win over Adamson. "We have to learn how to play for four quarters."
On the other hand, the Bulldogs need to find a third scorer to complement both Bobby Ray Parks and Jean Mbe to snap out of their funk.
Gelo Alolino is shooting 24.1%, Dennice Villamor is connecting from long range at a rate of 23.8% and Troy Rosario hasn't been helpful by making just 39.3% of his shots as NU has struggled so far.
The Bulldogs, who own the top UAAP defense, will also be up against the Archers' offensive juggernaut and the game will be a real test for a crew raring to make everyone feel they are contenders this season.
The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167, iwantv.com.ph and uaapsports.tv with a replay on the same day at 11 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/Destiny cable channel 36.