LA Salle and National University collide in a battle of the two remaining unbeaten squads on Sunday in the UAAP Season 79 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Archers hold the solo lead with a 3-0 win-loss slate, with NU at 2-0.
The game starts at 2 p.m.
La Salle is coming off a morale-boosting 38-point rout of UST, but coach Aldin Ayo is not taking any team lightly. Ayo knows the capability of NU, which defeated La Salle in tune-up games.
“Malakas din ‘yung NU talaga,” Ayo said. “Contender ’yun because matagal na sila magkakasama. Ilan taon na rin si Coach E sa NU.
“Kung titignan mo, buong buo ‘yung team na ‘yun. They have a good coaching staff and they have the materials.”
Ayo said he had previously worked with Eric Altamirano in the nationwide basketball program, but noted Coach E’s system has evolved over the years.
“I’m familiar with their system kasi galing din ako sa program ni Coach E. Pero they are playing very differently dun sa dati. Ibang iba sila ngayon.
“Pero sa amin, iba rin naman ’yung tune-up game. This is the UAAP. May mga adjustments kaming gagawin. We are going to play our game,” Ayo said.
The Green Archers are fresh from a swashbuckling performance against University of Santo Tomas, with Ben Mbala posting a huge double-double.
NU is also coming off a big win over Ateneo, and Altamirano is bracing for a tough stretch.
“We are very happy that we are 2-0. We can’t be contented. It’s still a long season. We have to continue to improve as a team. The next assignments for us won’t be easy,” said Altamirano.
Rev Diputado had 16 points and seven rebounds in the Bulldogs victory against the Blue Eagles.