Jeff Napa hopes to keep Bullpups sharp in week-long wait for UAAP juniors finals
Jeff Napa's squad won't see action until Game One of the finals on Tuesday. Dante Peralta

NATIONAL University consultant Jeff Napa has mixed feelings after the Bullpups clinched the first slot in the UAAP Season 79 juniors basketball tournament finals.

Don’t get Napa wrong. He is thrilled to see the Bullpups reach the championship series for the sixth successive time after trouncing De La Salle-Zobel, 72-50, on Tuesday in their Final Four encounter.

But at the same time, Napa is wary of rust and complacency setting in as the Bullpups go on a one-week break while waiting to know which team they will face in the finals.

This early, Napa reiterated NU should not rest on its laurels at this stage of the tournament.

“’Yun ang nakakainis, waiting eh. Matagal kami maghihintay,” said Napa. “We have to be ready kung sino man makakalaban namin.”

The Bullpups secured the top seed in the elimination round after finishing with a 12-2 record and easily dispatched the Junior Archers to book their place in the finals.

Now the waiting game begins.

The winner of the other Final Four face-off won't be known until Friday after the Ateneo Blue Eaglets forced a rubber match against second seed Far Eastern University, 75-56.

The Bullpups, who are seeking a fourth title in the UAAP over the past six years, will not see action until Game One is played on Tuesday.

NU is looking to win back-to-back titles, something the perennial finalist has failed to do over that span.

“Meron kaming mission talaga ngayong taon. Tapos na kasi ‘yung last year na champion kami. May mission ‘yung mga bata na kailangan nilang ma-achieve para ma-fulfill talaga nila ‘yung kung hanggang saan sila dadalhin ng basketball,” said Napa.

“We have to be ready. Kung ano ‘yung dapat naming i-correct, kailangan naming gawin. Siyempre, kailangang maging healthy kami para well-prepared kami,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports