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Sports

Bulldogs eye semis playoff berth; Warriors appeal ban

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Enjoying their new-found standing as leader of the UAAP Season 76 cage tourney, rampaging National U Bulldogs try to sustain their surge and gain at least a playoff for a Final Four berth today against winless University of the Philippines at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulldogs, in the driver’s seat following the fall of erstwhile pacesetter Far Eastern two days ago, are heavily favored to pick up their ninth win in 12 outings against the Maroons (0-10) as they try to put one foot inside the coveted semis.

UE coach Boycie Zamar filed an appeal yesterday seeking to reduce Olivares’ ban from two games to one.

“We firmly believe that there was no intention on the part of Olivares to deliberately step on the stomach of (NU’s Nico) Javelona but the circumstances were unavoidable,” he wrote in the letter to the technical committee.

The UAAP will tackle the appeal this morning.

“UP is struggling but it’s important we don’t overlook any team. We have to value every game and there has to be a sense of urgency in all our games in the eliminations, to be able to reach our target,” said NU coach Eric Altamirano of their 2 p.m. game.

The Bulldogs have won their last five assignments, the latest an 81-73 win over shorthanded University of the East that sent them to a share of first.

“Of course, we’re very happy (to be No. 1 in the standings) but we’re not contented. Kailangang magtrabaho pa (We still have to work harder),” said Altamirano.               

 

BOYCIE ZAMAR

ERIC ALTAMIRANO

FAR EASTERN

FINAL FOUR

NATIONAL U BULLDOGS

OLIVARES

SMART ARANETA COLISEUM

UNIVERSITY OF THE EAST

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

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