NATIONAL University shoots for the remaining championship berth against a resurgent University of Santo Tomas today in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Bullpups are wary of the Tiger Cubs, who have won their last three do-or-die games, as they try to capitalize the semifinals bonus in the 4 p.m. match.
NU hopes to ride on its twin head-to-head wins in the elimination round against UST. The Bullpups barely won, 89-85, in their first meeting and dominated the Tiger Cubs in the second round, 109-75. A win will push NU to the best-of-three Finals opposite Ateneo is waiting in the wings after completing a 14-game elimination sweep.
Veteran Rhayyan Amsali will lead the Bullpups charge along with Terrence Fortea, Michael Malonzo, Matthew Manalang and Miguel Oczon.
UST dethroned Far Eastern University-Diliman in the first step-ladder match right after eliminating Adamson University in a playoff for the last semifinals berth. The Tiger Cubs also defeated the Baby Tamaraws in the final day of eliminations to keep their season alive.
Playing in front of national TV audience, it’s time for Cansino, who has been solid during UST’s playoff run, to shine. Prior to their three-game winning run, the Tiger Cubs have lost five straight which put their playoff aspirations in doubt.
UST will also bank on Kobe Palencia, Rhayjun Baquial, John Lina and Cyril Narvasa.
A Tiger Cubs victory will send the semis to a deciding game at 4 p.m. on Friday at the San Juan arena.