(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. — FEU vs La Salle
4 p.m. — Adamson vs NU
National University head coach Jeff Napa gave his wards a pat on the back following a huge victory over defending champion University of the Philippines in their previous outing.
But Bulldogs coach Jeff Napa immediately whipped his team back to work to prepare for another big battle, this time against Adamson University, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Game time is at 4 p.m. following the 2 p.m. encounter between Far Eastern University and De La Salle University.
Napa said beating a dangerous Adamson squad will not be easy so they have to cut off their celebration and go back to work to essay another convincing win that will give them the solo lead in the early stretch of the eliminations.
After splitting its first two matches, NU prevailed over University of Santo Tomas before creaming UP to claim a 3-1 lead, tied with Ateneo de Manila University and the Fighting Maroons.
“We need to get back to the drawing board because we have another tough game on Saturday against Adamson,” Napa said following NU’s shocking 80-75 upset of erstwhile unbeaten Fighting Maroons last Wednesday.
Napa, however, remains wary, knowing how dangerous the Falcons are.
He knows that just like them, Adamson had also found renewed confidence after dropping its first two games before winning over University of the East, 74-61, before following it up with a 76-65 rout of luckless Tamaraws last Wednesday.
“We need to be ready. We have to be 1,000 times ready for whatever Adamson will throw at us,” Napa said.
NU will pin its hopes on another stellar performance from foreign student-athlete Omar John, who had 16 points and nine boards against UP, and consistency from Kean Baclaan, John Figueroa and returning playmaker Steve Nash Enriquez.
Leading the Falcons’ charge are Vince Magbuhos, who shot 7-of-8 from the rainbow territory against FEU, and Jerom Lastimosa who poured in 23 and 13 markers, respectively.
The Tamaraws are winless in four outings while the Green Archers are in a three-way logjam at 2-2 together with the Red Warriors and Adamson.
La Salle eyes to bounce back after suffering a painful 74-81 loss to UE last Wednesday.