Eric Altamirano keeps focus on breaking NU out of slump as Final Four hopes dim for Bulldogs
Eric Altamirano is keeping his head up as the slumping Bulldogs face a tough climb if they hope to make the Final Four. Jaime Campos

NATIONAL University coach Eric Altamirano remained optimistic in his team’s chances of making the Final Four despite the Bulldogs' fate in the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament now at the hands of other teams.

Sharing the fifth spot with University of the Philippines with identical 4-8 win-loss records, NU technically still has a chance to make the Final Four. But for that to happen, the other squads, especially those ahead of them in the standings like Adamson and UP, should start losing as well.

"I think mathematically we have a chance pero we're already relying on other teams," said Altamirano in the aftermath of a heartbreaking 71-66 loss to University of the Philippines.

"Mahirap (yung di ikaw ang may kontrol). But we'll just have to take care of our last two games, give our best shot to win those." 

Altamirano said they're prepared for the worst. But that doesn't mean they won't do anything to prop up their sagging fortunes. 

"More than making the Final Four, makabalik lang sa panalo uli (okay na)," said the soft-spoken mentor, whose team is on a six-game slide.

"We're in a deep hole now, I feel for the boys who are going through this adversity," he added, "Dasal tsaka gawa (kailangan naming gawin). And continue to practice and focus on next two games." 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros