National University (NU) tries to grab its fourth consecutive victory when it battles University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Saturday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 76 men’s basketball at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bulldogs, who are currently in second place with 6-3 win-loss mark, will be gunning for their seventh win against the injury-plagued Growling Tigers in the main game at 4 p.m. while De La Salle University meets winless University of the Philippines (UP) at 2 p.m.
NU is expected to rely on the 1-2 punch of two-time Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe, who are averaging 17.2 and 16.8 points per game, respectively. They will get support from Joshua Alolino, Robin Rono and Troy Rosario.
“We need to tally more wins in the second round because every game is very important,” said NU head coach Eric Altamirano. “We have to play with sense of urgency since most teams are becoming very aggressive.”
The Growling Tigers, who hold a 4-4 log, have injured player in Aljon Mariano (ankle) and Jeric Teng (shoulder). Cameroonian center Karim Abdul, Kevin Ferrer and Clark Bautista will carry the scoring cudgels for UST.
Meanwhile, La Salle will try to give UP’s debuting interim coach Rey Madrid a rude welcome when the Green Archers shoots for their sixth win in 10 games. La Salle is also coming off a two-game winning streak.
The Fighting Maroons are still winless in eight games.
“We need to improve lots of things like our shot selection and ball distributions. I’m pretty sure UP will play tough,” said La Salle mentor Juno Sauler, who will bank on rookie Jason Perkins, Jeron Teng, Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres and Almond Vosotros.