NATIONAL University eyes the solo lead as it takes on lowly Adamson on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 77 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tied at the top of the standings with Ateneo at 3-1, NU could take early control and start to create distance from the rest of the pack, especially after splitting its matches against two of the season’s top teams.
NU had an up and down result the previous week, bowing to defending champion La Salle before handing Ateneo its first loss of the season and head coach Eric Altamirano underscored the importance of team defense in the weekend win.
“We committed to really playing our team defense against Ateneo. Hindi naman kami offensive team. We rely on sheer defense,” said Altamirano.
Now the Final Four contenders are heavily favored to hurdle an Adamson team yet to score a victory in three outings.
The match tips off at 4 p.m.
The Falcons came close on Saturday, when they held the upperhand for most of the match only to fizzle out against University of Santo Tomas, 50-49.
“We gave it to them,” said Adamson coach Kenneth Duremdes. “Kami ang nagpatalo sa amin. It’s the little things.”
The rookie coach remains optimistic.
“The boys are responding now to what we are doing. They are starting to believe in the system we are giving to them. The improvements we are looking, kahit papaano, unti-unti nandoon na. Pero again, kulang pa rin,” Duremdes said.