Bulldogs, Tamaraws clash; Blue Eagles seek 10th win | Inquirer Sports
UAAP CAGING

Bulldogs, Tamaraws clash; Blue Eagles seek 10th win

/ 05:25 AM April 21, 2022
UP's Ricci Rivero vs FEU. UAAP PHOTO

UP’s Ricci Rivero vs FEU. UAAP PHOTO

With the window to the next round starting to shut, struggling National University (NU) and Far Eastern University (FEU) are understandably working double time to catch up. On Thursday, they clash to sort of gain the inside track.

With both nursing losing streaks, the Bulldogs and the Tamaraws slug it out to create movement in the middle of the standings as the UAAP Season 84 Final Four picture starts to get clearer with Ateneo, University of the Philippines (UP) and La Salle closing in on slots.

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With five games remaining for all of the squads, the Blue Eagles and the Maroons have locks on two of those Final Four spots, making the chase for No. 1 and the battle for the last two berths interesting as the eliminations wind down.

“This is the second round already, and we are talking of getting to the playoffs,” said NU coach Jeff Napa in Filipino. “This is very important. We have to level up.”

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He’s concerned about “fast-tracking” the maturity of his players, who are mostly rookies and holdovers who didn’t get much action during the two-year pandemic break. “Hopefully, we’ll engage FEU in a dogfight. And everyone will be present.”

By saying “present,” Napa was referring to a 62-55 loss to Adamson where he referred to his players as “absent” for questionable decision-making in the endgame. That setback was their second in a row.

Napa, though, is taking responsibility for that.

“I have to be man enough to take responsibility. Our team needs maturity and decision-making inside the court. It’s a long process but everyone has the ability to step up.”

Strangely, that was similar to FEU’s dilemma. The Tamaraws are on a three-game losing skid which rookie standout RJ Abarrientos blames on “lack of maturity.”

“They (NU) are the ones we are chasing, we can’t afford to lose because we’ll be two or three games behind [the leaders],” said FEU coach Olsen Racela.

The Bulldogs and the Tamaraws clash at 12:30 p.m. Mall of Asia Arena where the Blue Eagles shoot for a 10th straight win against University of Santo Tomas at 10 a.m. Adamson and UP battle in the 4:30 p.m. contest, while the Green Archers slug it out with University of the East at 7 p.m.

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TAGS: Bulldogs, Eagles, Far Eastern University (FEU), National University (NU), Tams, UAAP, UAAP Season 84 Final Four
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