National University (NU) aims to strengthen its hold of the top spot when it takes on winless University of the Philippines (UP) at 2:00 p.m. today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball Season 76 at the Araneta Coliseum.
In the other game, De La Salle University guns for a fifth consecutive win and a Final Four berth when it battles University of the East at 4:00 p.m.
Solo leader NU has an 8-3 win-loss record while La Salle with a 7-4 slate, is occupying the third spot. A win by the Green Archers will allow them to share No. 2 spot with Far Eastern University (8-4).
La Salle is coming off a slim 66-64 win over archrival Ateneo De Manila University on Sunday.
Although the Fighting Maroons remain winless in 10 games, Bulldogs head coach Eric Altamirano said he doesn’t want his players to underestimate UP.
“We need more wins and we can’t set them [UP] aside,” said Altamirano. “We just need to play tough and as a unit. UP is expected to play tougher.”
Reigning Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks, Cameroonian Emmanuel Mbe, Robin Rono and Joshua Alolino are expected to lead the Bulldogs
The Fighting Maroons for their part would rely on the prowess of Henry Asilum and Joseph Marata.
La Salle will be facing an undermanned UE squad that currently holds a 5-5 win-loss card.
Red Warriors Head Coach Boycie Zamar will have to go on without 6’8 Charles Mammie and guard Ralf Olivarez who are both under a two-game suspension because of misconducts during a game against NU.
La Salle eyes to avenge its 83-85 first round loss to UE.
A win by the Red Warriors will put them in a three-way tie for the fourth spot with Ateneo and University of Santo Tomas, each holding identical 6-5 win-loss slates.