NATIONAL University tries to firm up its hold of the top spot in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament that’s also dealing with several off-court controversies.
The Bulldogs shoot for a win that will assure them of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth versus the winless University of the Philippines Maroons at 2 p.m. today at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s hard to get a momentum, so we just want to take advantage of this momentum,” said coach Eric Altamirano as his Bulldogs go for a sixth straight win and ninth overall.
A similarly streaking La Salle squad aims for a share of second against a depleted University of the East in the second game at 4 p.m.
The Warriors will again have to do without African center Charles Mammie, who will serve the second of his two-game suspension.
Lord Casajeros will return from a game ban, but another key guard, Ralf Olivares, will sit out after also getting a two-game suspension.
“We’ll find a way,” said UE coach Boycie Zamar. “As long as we’re still here, we’ll keep knocking on the [Final Four] door.”
The UAAP technical committee will tackle UE’s appeal to reduce Olivares’ penalty.
League secretary-treasurer Malou Isip said the postgame altercation between Ateneo coach Bo Perasol and a La Salle fan will also be discussed during the meeting.
“There’s no need to summon coach Bo, and I think they’ve both apologized,” Isip said during the PSA Forum yesterday at Shakey’s Malate. “What we want to stress right now is there’s a UAAP fan code of conduct.”
In another development, UP swimmer Mikee Bartolome secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) late yesterday to stop the league from implementing the two-year residency rule.
The controversial rule requires high school players transferring to a member school for college to sit out for two years, unless released by his former school.
UP juniors player Jozhua General has also filed a TRO over his eligibility.