NATIONAL University seeks to repeat over defending champion Ateneo as they square off at the start of the second round action of the UAAP juniors basketball tournament on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The 6-1 Bullpups are fancied to prevail in the 3 p.m. encounter with the Blue Eaglets whom they demolished, 78-62, in a heated Finals rematch in the first round last Dec. 15.
Far Eastern University-Diliman and Adamson, bunched in a three-way with Ateneo in second place at 5-2, clash at 11 a.m.
The Bullpups and the Eaglets figured in an intense match-up in their first meeting this season that saw four technical fouls and three unsportsmanlike fouls in the first half alone.
Also, Reggie Varilla, the Blue Eaglets new coach, was ejected late in the game for unsportsmanlike behavior.
The showdown will also feature giants Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-1 Ateneo center who is leading the season MVP race, and NU’s Carl Tamayo.
Looking sharp as ever, the Bullpups are coming off a PSSBC championship during the Christmas break.
In other matches, University of Santo Tomas (3-4) and University of the East (1-6) collide at 9 a.m., while La Salle-Zobel (3-4) and UP Integrated School (0-7) take the floor at 1 p.m.