NATIONAL University (NU) head coach Eric Altamirano said that the Bulldogs are yearning to bite back in Game 2 of the best-of-three finals of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 77 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
NU lost to Far Eastern University (FEU) 75-70 on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“They [FEU] have to win twice against us and the series isn’t over yet,” said Altamirano, whose team survived three sudden death matches this season. “We have to keep playing defense all-throughout the game.”
Before reaching the Final Four, the Bulldogs defeated the University of the East Red Warriors in a playoff for the last berth in semifinals and then stunned the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles twice in the Final Four to make it to the Finals.
“FEU beat us on Saturday but on Wednesday it’s going to be a different game,” he added. “I’m sure my players will step up. Our hunger to win a title is there.”
Altamirano is expected to rely on playmaker Gelo Alolino, Glenn Khobuntin, Jay Jay Alejandro, the 6’7Cameroonian Alfred Aroga and Rev Diputado, among others.
The Tamaraws under coach Nash Racela will bank on Mike Tolomia, Mac Belo, Archie Iñigo, Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and 6’6 American center Anthony Hargrove in their campaign for a two-game sweep.