NU Bulldogs football team feeling at home in Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines - The National University collegiate football team are wrapping up their preparation for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 seniors division football tournament with a 10-day training camp here in Cebu City.
Newly installed head coach Mari Aberasturi said that they decided to come to Cebu because there are a lot of strong teams here with whom they can play tune-up games with as part of their final preparation.
“In the 10 days here in Cebu, you can already go up against 5 quality teams,” said Aberasturi, who is also the assistant coach of the San Beda Red Booters who took the men’s football title of the NCAA Season 92 last Tuesday, January 17.
The UAAP 78th Season will kickoff on February 5 with the NU Bulldogs facing the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors.
The best finish that the NU Bulldogs had in the seniors division football tournament was at fifth place in the 76th season. Last year, the team finished 6th.
“Right now we are working on their mentality, that they have the capability to win because right now they don’t fully believe that they will win. So we are confidence building,” said Aberasturi, who took over as head coach of the NU Bulldogs last September.
He added that they will go through the season per game without thinking of advancing to the top 4 just yet as they still have adjustments to make in the team and the system.
The team arrived on Wednesday, January 18, and after a day’s rest immediately went up against the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Kicking Panthers, the first runner-up in the 16th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) men’s football tournament.
The visiting team blanked the local team, 2-0, courtesy of Eddie Alivio and Cebuano Lawrence “Soysoy” Colina, also a former member of the national junior team, who converted a penalty.
The team will be training daily from 2 pm to 4 pm except on Sunday.
Its other tune-up matches will be against University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, the CESAFI football champions; University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, ERCO BRO/University of Cebu and ERCO BRO U21.
Aside from training and tune-up games, the NU Bulldogs will also be visiting the Sisters of Mary Boystown Complex in Minglanilla to conduct a football sports clinic.
They will also be having a team building activity at the Don Bosco Formation Center in Lawaan, Talisay, under Father Fidel Orendain. This is in line with the team’s confidence building training.
They will return to Manila on January 28. – Rappler.com