NATIONAL University opens its defense of the UAAP men's basketball championship on September 6 against De La Salle in the opening weekend of Season 78.
The Bulldogs face De La Salle in the first game of an explosive Sunday doubleheader at 2 p.m. to be played at the Mall of Asia Arena, according to a schedule obtained by Spin.ph.
Kiefer Ravena and the Ateneo Blue Eagles, on the other hand, will also have a tough opening match against Mac Belo and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the second game at 4 p.m.
Interestingly, all four teams are high on the formcharts of oddsmakers entering the new season.
After breaking a decades-long drought, NU will be going for a second consecutive crown without top big man Troy Rosario, who has applied for the PBA Draft after a stint with Gilas Pilipinas cadets.
Rosario's Gilas cadets teammate Ravena, on the other hand, is staying for his final year with the Blue Eagles as they vie for their first crown since 2013.
Host University of the Philippines begins Season 78 with a matchup against University of the East on Saturday, September 5, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Following the 2 p.m. first game, University of Santo Tomas goes up against Adamson at 4 p.m.