Bulldogs stake top spot vs Tamaraws today
National University hopes to wrap up its first-round campaign still on top when it battles today a Far Eastern University side that’s hardly surprised with the Bulldogs’ surge in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“My observation of them: they’re playing as a team now,” FEU coach Nash Racela said of the Bulldogs, who used to rely heavily on two-time MVP Ray Parks.
The Bulldogs, who have had different players stepping up each game, shoot for a sixth triumph against the Tamaraws at 4 p.m. today at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
University of the Philippines, minus suspended coach Rey Madrid anew, gun for its first win against a similarly winless Adamson in the first game at 2 p.m.
Despite the Bulldogs’ early success, NU coach Eric Altamirano said his Bulldogs should guard against complacency.
“The UAAP is very unpredictable,” said Altamirano. “Games are won by very close margins, so we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to play our A-game every single day.”
Much improved forward Troy Rosario and Cameroonian center Alfred Aroga will lead the Bulldogs along with Gelo Alolino, Glenn Khobuntin, Jay Alejandro and rookie guard Rev Diputado.
“It’s nice to be first,” said Altamirano. “But we cannot really rest and be complacent since FEU is one of the strong teams this season.”
While Racela cited the Bulldogs’ teamwork, Altamirano also noted the same can be said of the Tamaraws, who have been drawing big games from Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia.
For the Maroons and the rookie-laden Falcons, however, nothing has been going right in the first round. The Maroons, who will try to end a 27-game losing spell since 2012.