National University (NU) and Far Eastern University (FEU) will be disputing the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 men’s basketball crown today in the deciding Game 3 of their best-of-three finals at the Araneta Coliseum.
The NU-FEU match is set at 4 p.m. with both teams aiming to snap their respective title droughts.
The Bulldogs last won in 1954 —their lone title in the league while the Tamaraws are hoping to bring back the glory days after ruling the 2005 edition. FEU actually shoots for its 20th tiara.
FEU took the series opener, 75-70, on October 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena but NU leveled the series by virtue of its impressive 62-47 win in Game 2 on October 8 in a sellout crowd at the Big Dome.
“We need to be aggressive on defense especially in the rebounding department. It’s important to go into a game with a level of confidence,” said FEU head coach Nash Racela, who underscored the need to improve their 41 rebounds in Game 2 as compared to NU’s 54.
Mark Belo and Mike Tolomia are expected to bring their A-game as well as Alejandrino Inigo, Roger Pogoy and Anthony Hargrove. Belo and Tolomia combined for 32 points in Game 2.
NU mentor Eric Altamirano, on the other hand, will be relying on troika of Jeth Troy Rosario, Glenn Khobuntin and Joshua Alolino, who finished in double-digits the last time out. Rosario had a double-double 19 points and 14 rebounds while Khobuntin got 17 and Alolino contributed 12.
“It will boil down on who will assert themselves. We have to be focused and throw everything out [in Game 3],” said Altamirano.
Besides Rosario, Khobuntin and Alolino, Cameroonian center Alfred Aroga is also a factor for the Bulldogs, hauling down 13 rebounds and got two blocks in Game 2.