NATIONAL University tries to take advantage of La Salle’s crucial loss to Ateneo when it faces an undermanned Far Eastern University side Sunday as the Final Four race intensifies in the UAAP seniors basketball tournament.
The Bulldogs face the Tamaraws in the main game at 4 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena, with FEU missing the services of suspended tough guy Arvie Bringas.
NU once again finds itself tied with La Salle at fourth spot similar 6-4 (win-loss) records following the Green Archers’ 67-77 loss to Ateneo Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Eric Altamirano, the soft-spoken coach of NU, said all the remaining games of the Bulldogs will be crucial starting with this match up against the Tamaraws, but admitted they are not thinking about their spot in the standings at the moment.
“We don’t want to think about the standings. We still have four games left and all our games will be important,” said Altamirano.
The Tamaraws will play their first game without Bringas as he serves the first of a two-game suspension for spitting in the face of Ateneo center Justin Chua last Wednesday in a highly-physical encounter between the Finals protagonists of the last two seasons.
The Tamaraws (7-3) are hoping to win this one and join University of Santo Tomas (8-3) in second spot after the Tigers beat Adamson Saturday, 83-79.
“Importante ‘yung games namin dahil hindi pa kami sigurado sa Final Four,” said FEU coach Bert Flores. Big game talaga ‘yung against NU.”
In the first game, cellar dwellers University of the Philippines and University of the East clash at 2 p.m.
The Maroons and the Warriors occupy the bottom spot of the standings at 1-8.
The winner earns headway over Adamson (2-9) for sixth place.