NU's Angelo Alolino (4) drives to the basket against Ateneo. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The National University (NU) Bulldogs will shoot for solo first place in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament when they take on the still-winless Adamson University Soaring Falcons Wednesday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bulldogs have a 3-1 record, currently tied with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, whom they beat in their most recent game.
They are favored to defeat the Falcons, who most recently dropped a close game against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.
Yet NU head coach Eric Altamirano said his team cannot take Adamson lightly, especially as the Falcons have showed flashes of promise despite their youth and inexperience.
"We cannot be complacent against Adamson," Altamirano said. "They're a young team, pero makikita mo na they can really keep up with veteran teams like UST."
"So we really have to prepare for them, and dapat talaga we bring our A-game against Adamson," he added.
The Falcons were close to making a breakthrough in their campaign, even leading the Growling Tigers late in the final quarter.
Their immaturity showed in crunch time, however, giving up crucial offensive rebounds and fouls to UST that allowed Kent Lao to steal the game at the free throw line.
"We have to be more disciplined. NU is a very disciplined team," Adamson head coach Kenneth Duremdes said after their game.
"Obviously, we're undersized, and we just have to be more aggressive on attacking the defense especially at the endgame," he added. "Medyo at the endgame, wala na 'yung aggressiveness namin eh."
"That is something to be adjusted in the game against NU."
Game time is at 4 p.m.