DLSU is first roadblock in NUís title defense
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 06, 2015 01:29 AM
CLASH OF CHAMPIONS. The two champions from the last two seasons meet each other for their first assignments in the UAAP Season 78.
Games on Sunday at the MOA Arena
12:00 PM – DLSU vs NU
4:00 PM – FEU vs Ateneo
Already difficult as it is, defending champion National University's journey through unfamiliar territory was made even harder because of the first opponent they face in the 78th Season of the UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament.
The Bulldogs begin their first title defense in over four decades against perennial powerhouse De La Salle University on Sunday at the MOA Arena.
The two champions from the last two seasons clash at 12:00 PM and all of the action will be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 as well as streamed LIVE on sports.abs-cbn.com.
Already with no recent experience on how to deal with coming off a championship, the Bulldogs were handicapped even more with the graduation of Troy Rosario and Glenn Khobuntin. Still, coach Eric Altamirano has full belief that his team is in good hands under the leadership of Gelo Alolino and Alfred Aroga.
What NU will be relying on for their title defense is continued development from players who flashed promise last season. Talking about J-Jay Alejandro and Paolo Javelona, Altamirano said, “We will give them more responsibility and more trust to do things.”
On the other side of the fence is a squad which suffered a comparable subtraction with the exit of Norbert Torres, Almond Vosotros, and Arnold Van Opstal. While improvement from holdovers like Abu Tratter and Julian Sargent is also expected, DLSU also looks to be pinning much of its hopes in the immediate impact of a stellar crop of first-year players.
From transferee Josh Torralba to top recruit Josh Caracut, coach Juno Sauler has many options to plug alongside given that is Jeron Teng and deliver their goal of, in his words, “Competing a lot better compared to last season.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.