DESPITE bowing out at the semifinal stage of the NBTC National Finals, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu is proud of what it achieved over the past week at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Magis Eagles provided the biggest upset of the tournament when they beat reigning UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila in the quarterfinal round.
Their dream run, however, fell short as they bowed to National University, 71-47, on Thursday.
Ateneo de Cebu assistant coach Lito Caro said the team has no reason to hang its head despite missing a return trip to the finals.
“Maganda naman pinakita ng mga bata,” said Caro. “At least, umabot kami sa semifinals. Na-short lang kami sa semis pero nagpapasalamat pa rin kami sa experience.”
Caro said Ateneo de Cebu, as far as he remembers, has not won over its Manila sister school, even in tune-up games
The coach said the key to the 72-70 upset was the Magis Eagles' defensive game plan on Blue Eaglets top scorer SJ Belangel, who was held to seven points.
“Sinabi lang namin, we stop SJ, mananalo tayo. Nagawa naman namin. He was a non-factor in the game,” said Caro.
Caro said the NBTC experience was a great parting gift to the graduating players including Jed Colonia, who has committed to join Adamson in the UAAP.
“Dami talaga nila matututunan for next year. Magka-college naman lahat, dala nila ‘yung natutunan nila sa NBTC for their college career,” said Caro.