2-year ‘No. 1 curse’ looms over UST
Heartbreaking exits ended the Final Four campaigns of the top seeds in the last two seasons. So University of Santo Tomas hopes to do all it can to avoid landing on that infamous list.
“We don’t want that to happen to us,” said UST coach Bong dela Cruz.
The No. 1 Tigers hold a twice-to-beat edge over National University in their semifinal showdown in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament Sunday.
But that bonus, apparently, holds no guarantee as the No. 1 teams have been booted out by the fourth seeds for two straight years now.
So Dela Cruz wants his Tigers to go for a quick finish versus the defending champion Bulldogs in the 3:30 p.m. match at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re not thinking that we have the twice-to-beat,” said Dela Cruz. “We have to be prepared against them—adjust our defense, show our mental toughness.”
Last year, the Bulldogs overcame the twice-to-beat edge of No. 1 Ateneo in the Final Four before stunning the favored Far Eastern University in the Finals.
“We’re hoping it will turn out the same,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano.
The Bulldogs were also No. 1 in 2013 but failed to advance to the 2013 Finals after getting ousted by the fourth-seeded Tigers.
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