Coach E staying calm despite three-game skid as Bulldogs prepare to battle unbeaten Archers
Coach Eric Altamirano hopes to steer NU back in the top half of the eigh-team standings. Dante Peralta

COACH Eric Altamirano is staying calm despite National University’s losing streak, issuing a challenge for players as they try to overcome a shaky stretch in the season.

A loss to the bottom team University of Sto. Tomas extended their skid to three, which is now the longest active losing run.

Instead of tightening their grip on a place in the top half of the eight-team standings, the Bulldogs have slipped to the middle at fourth and fifth with Adamson at 4-5.

[See UST Tigers halt five-game slide with shock win over NU Bulldogs]

Altamirano is urging the Bulldogs to respond in a positive way.

“It’s going to be a test of character for us to be able to respond. Ang question is how do we respond sa 0-3 namin. That’s my challenge to the boys today,” said Altamirano.

The team spent more than an hour in the dugout after the loss, perhaps discussing what went wrong against UST and how they can break their struggles.

UST mostly played zone defense and the Bulldogs failed to take advantage, shooting a miserable 6-of-21 from three-point range with Matt Salem only hitting four of his 13 shots from beyond the arc.

Overall, NU shot just 38 percent from the field.

“Masama ’yung game namin. We really struggled sa zone defense ng UST. They also played good defense,” Altamirano said.

UST, on the other hand, made its shots with Marvin Lee converting five of the team’s seven three-point field goals.

“UST played more relaxed. Kami naman, we were so tight because we were coming off back-to-back losses,” he added.

An even tougher matchup awaits NU as it faces unbeaten La Salle on Wednesday.

“We have to play a sense of urgency at this point of the season. I hope the boys will respond positively and hopefully, we can turn the season around to our advantage,” Altamirano said.

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