THE National University football team is hoping to finally make the UAAP Final Four after seeing action in two local tournaments.
The Bulldogs played in a mini-pocket tournament in Cebu before proceeding to Dumaguete City for the UniGames that features top collegiate teams such as University of the Philippines, La Salle, College of St. Benilde, and Bacolod-based schools University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos and defending champion University of St. La Salle.
Ateneo, a football power in college, however, didn’t send a team in Dumaguete, with Polytechnic University of the Philippines and University of Perpetual Help completing the cast.
“This is actually in preparation talaga for the UAAP which starts this January,” said team manager BJ Manalo.
The school organized in the pocket tournament that featured top football clubs from Cebu.
“OK lang na matalo sa mga ganyang tournaments. Ang importante kasi yung training for the UAAP kaya tayo kumuha ng mga malalakas na teams,” said Manalo. “At the same time, para hindi masayang yung biyahe on the way sa Dumaguete, naglaro muna kami dito.”
The former player turned NU official said the Bulldogs are looking to make a breakthrough Final Four appearance this season, after its high school team placed third in last year’s tournament.
“Wala pa tayong Final Four, so hopefully magbunga,” said Manalo. “Yung high school team namin is now on its second year and nag third place kami last year, although hindi naman kasi ganun kadami yung mga may teams sa high school.”
The team is being supported by Engineer Danny Tamayo of the famed DDT Konstract Inc (DDTKI). Tamayo is also an NU alumnus.
“Lumaki rin sa hirap yan kaya gusto niya ring magbigay ng opportunities sa mga tao, so he’s helping our football team,” said Manalo.