National U import Alfred Aroga vowed he’ll be in fighting form on Wednesday when the Bulldogs kickoff their UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball title campaign against the University of the East Red Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Sidelined for more than month with a quadriceps injury, the 6-foot-6 Aroga is hoping he’ll be able to fit in seamlessly into the Bulldogs’ improved system as they take on the all-Filipino Red Warriors crew at 2 o’clock.
“As far as may injury is concerned, I’m fine,” said the graduating Cameroonian ace, who helped NU clinch the men’s title in 2014 when he as named as the Finals MVP.
“I am ready definitely, no excuses,” he added. “I’ve been in this tourney for the past two years. I have this fighting spirit. Whatever happens, I wanna make sure to fit into the team and make my best and have this team get that championship again.”
While most of the spotlight will fall on him, Aroga feels the Bulldogs will come in better equipped with the acquisition of former Adamson big man Matt Aquino and ex-La Salle forward Matt Salem plus a pair of high school recruits in former Chiang Kai Shek star JV Gallego and Joshua Sinclair of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.
“There’s no superstar in the team. Everybody accepts their role. There’s no difference between the rookies and seniors. We’re one and we’re all together,” he said.
While employing suffocating defense has been the team’s trademark since coach Eric Altamirano took over, Aroga said the Bulldogs will also try to thrive on a high-octane offense.
“We’re a running team. We share the ball and everybody can score,” he said, adding his putting NU above himself anew. “I’m focusing on what I have to do and what it will take to help the team win.” – By Jerome Lagunzad
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