11 a.m. — Ateneo vs FEU
1 p.m. — NU vs UST
3 p.m. — Adamson vs UE
6:30 p.m. — UP vs La Salle
Final Four seat contender National University is not taking University of Santo Tomas lightly.
Despite being tipped to hurdle the skidding Tigers, Bulldogs head coach Jeff Napa wants his wards to treat their rival with respect as they shoot for the second Final Four seat in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena today.
“We’ll treat the game with the same approach. Every day, every game, whoever we face, we’ll have the same approach,” he said.
“UST is still a part of the UAAP. So we need to prepare, we need to be ready because we need this win,” Napa added.
Game time is at 1 p.m. in the quadruple-header playdate that also features defending champion and semifinals-bound University of the Philippines gunning for at least a playoff for a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage against De La Salle University in the 6:30 p.m. nightcap.
Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University is out to secure at least a playoff for a semis berth in the 11 a.m. curtain-raiser against Far Eastern University.
Also, Adamson University and University of the East cross paths at 3 p.m. in an all-important match that could affect their respective semis bids.
NU sits at solo second spot with an 8-3 win-loss record behind the Fighting Maroons (10-1).
The Bulldogs are also on a three-game winning streak, coming off a 70-61 victory over the Red Warriors last Thursday in the resumption of UAAP wars after a two-week break.
NU has the huge advantage in depth, parading an arsenal that includes rookie PJ Palacielo, who was instrumental in the Bulldogs’ last win, veterans Jake Figueroa, John Lloyd Clemente, point guard Steve Nash Enriquez and center Omar John.
UST, on the other hand, is on life support with its fate already out of its hands.
With a 1-9 slate and on a nine-game slump, the Tigers need to win all their remaining games and pray hard that no other team outside of the top three in the standings reaches six wins to force a playoff for the last semis seat.
But with Nic Cabanero, who has been carrying the offense by his lonesome, having no consistent support, UST is facing a bleak future this season with just five playdates left.