NATIONAL University seeks to extend its winning streak at the expense of University of Santo Tomas as the two teams clash in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Going for their fourth straight victory, the Bulldogs will be going up against a complete UST squad in the 4 p.m. encounter.
Jeric Teng is expected to finally suit up for the Tigers after a four-game absence due to a right shoulder injury he incurred ironically, against NU in the two team’s first-round meeting last July following a collision with Jeff Javillonar.
While his team has been on a winning run, NU coach Eric Altamirano is still cautious of UST even before Teng announced that he is set to return for the Tigers.
“Jeric Teng might play already, we really have to prepare hard for UST,” said Altamirano, following the Bulldogs’ 80-48 victory over Adamson last Sunday.
Thanks to the winning streak, the Bulldogs currently occupy solo second place with a 6-3 (win-loss) slate that included the honor of handing Far Eastern University its first loss in the tournament to open the second round of the eliminations last August 14.
Altamirano has been crediting defense for the Bulldogs’ winning run.
“We need to assert ourselves on defense. We have to take it with a sense of urgency dahil sobrang dikit (sa standings),” said the NU mentor.
Altamirano also said the Bulldogs' second round meeting with the Tigers also hold extra significance after they were swept by UST last season in their head-to-head match-up, including in their Final Four meeting.
“Suki kami ng UST last season,” said Altamirano.