Tigers try to extend streak to 4
2 p.m. • Ateneo vs UE
4 p.m. • NU vs UST
THE University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers, carrying the momentum of a three-game winning streak, clash with the struggling defending champions National University Bulldogs at 4 p.m. today at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A fourth straight win will solidify the Growling Tigers’ grip on the solo lead in the 78th University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament.
The Bulldogs, who have lost their last three games, are not expected to take their game with UST lightly.
“Siyempre babawi sila, they will prepare hard. Hindi puwede kaming maging overconfident dahil kahit 0-3 sila, defending champion ang mga iyan,” said coach Bong Dela Cruz of the Bulldogs.
The last time around, Ed Daquioag scored 27 points to lead the Tigers to a 67-59 win over University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.
De la Cruz said that since last year, Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer have been asked to be the leaders of the team.
Daquioag shot a career-high 28 points to lead the Growling Tigers to an opening-day 70-64 win over Adamson last Sept. 5.
Another loss by the Bulldogs will give them the dubious distinction of being the first defending champions in the Final Four era to start the season with four straight setbacks.
“Hangga’t mayroon pang mga games, may pag-asa,” said Altamirano, moments after the Bulldogs lost a 70-74 double overtime decision to Ateneo last Wednesday.
Earlier today, the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the University of the East Warriors meet at 2 p.m.
The Warriors, who are coming off an 89-78 triumph over the Adamson Falcons, have unravelled a promising cager in Bon Batiller, who made a game-high 23 points in that game last Wednesday.
The rookie-transferee from General Santos City also dished out eight assists and had six steals. He also had a 23-point performance when the Warriors got past the Bulldogs, 76-71.
Meanwhile, Kiefer Ravena is again expected expected to provide leadership for the Blue Eagles.
It was Ravena’s two clutch baskets which carried Ateneo to a 74-70 double overtime victory over NU on Wednesday.
Ravena was having an off-night when he hit a three-pointer with 5.3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 57-all.
It was his drive with 5.7 seconds to play set the stage for a second extra period.