Guest school AUF out to make NCAA surprise

Great Danes to rely on quickness, outside shooting

By Izah Morales

MANILA, Philippines-- Speed is the keyword for Angeles University Foundation, one of three guest schools in the upcoming National Collegiate Athletic Association season 85, which opens June 27 at the Araneta Coliseum.

AUF, along with Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University, will make their NCAA debut on June 29. AUF faces College of St. Benilde at the FilOil Arena in San Juan.

?As of now, we are working on our running game. That?s what we are implementing,? said AUF coach Enrico Gascon via phone interview with INQUIRER.net.

?I want them to be quick on the court,? Gascon stressed in Filipino.

According to him, the AUF Great Danes are practicing twice a day, six days a week in a gym in the former Clark Air Base in their home province of Pampanga

Aside from speed, Gascon counts outside shooting to be a strength for his team.

The Great Danes will be parading a tall lineup of veteran players including power forward Mathew Carney, Lemuel Manarang, center Gerald Gigante, guards Aaron Santos, Gian Fuerte, and Patrick Musni.

?Almost all of them are six-footers,? said Gascon.

Carney, who is half-American, half- Filipino, stands at six-foot-four while center Gigante measures is six-foot-four and a half. Both Manarang and Fuerte are six-foot-three.

AUF?s roster also includes five rookies raring to make their collegiate debut in the NCAA. Gascon expects AUF to play its best as one of three guest schools challenging reigning champ San Beda.

?We just have to win one game at a time. As long as we keep playing our best each time,? he said. ?I always remind them to have good communication and learn to read game situations on the court.?

?Offense will follow when you have a good defense,? added Gascon.

Last January, the Great Danes participated in the Fr. Martin?s Cup, which gave them the chance to see how NCAA schools play.

?We usually join national leagues like the National Inter-Collegiate Basketball,? said Gascon.

The Great Danes are not to be taken lightly since they are defending champions of the National Inter-Collegiate Basketball, after defeating the National Capital Region team last year.

AUF also played recently in the 7th Asian University Basketball Championship.

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