Bulldogs eye fast start vs FalconsBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NATIONAL University tries to get off to a hot start when it shoots for a fourth victory versus Adamson in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at 4 p.m. today at Mall of Asia Arena.
NU star Ray Parks said the Bulldogs can’t have a repeat of their Wednesday loss to Far Eastern University, 83-87, even if they nearly pulled off a huge comeback from a 20-point hole in the final quarter.
“It’s a learning experience for us that we can’t start slow,” said Parks, the league’s Most Valuable Player in the last two seasons.
University of the East, a preseason favorite just like the Bulldogs, also hopes to learn its lessons from a recent win when it faces La Salle at 2 p.m. looking for a third straight victory.
“We need to be consistent,” said UE coach Boycie Zamar after the Warriors survived Ateneo’s late push for a 72-68 decision last Wednesday.
Zamar expects more of his players to provide ample support to their top guard Roi Sumang, who has virtually been doing everything for the Warriors.
“Roi has been carrying the burden so much,” said Zamar. “Somebody has to ease that burden.”
The Green Archers are raring to rebound from an embarrassing loss to the Tamaraws, where they blew a 13-point advantage in the last three minutes of regulation before losing in overtime, 79-83, last week.
“That game was supposed to be ours, but that’s not the end for us, we just need to bounce back,” La Salle star Jeron Teng said of the Archers’ monumental collapse where they shot miserably from the free throw line (13-of-26), especially at crunch time.
“We have to learn how to close it out,” added La Salle coach Juno Sauler.
The Falcons, tied with the Archers at 2-2, also aim to recover after falling to the struggling Blue Eagles in a 71-59 rout last week.
Coach Leo Austria hopes his Falcons, led by Jericho Cruz, Rodney Brondial and Ingrid Sewa, would take advantage of their size unlike in their loss to the Eagles where they got surprisingly outrebounded, 49-37.