THE National University Lady Bulldogs are Hong Kong-bound if and when they bag the UAAP Season 76 women’s basketball title.
Team patron Dioceldo Sy bared NU big boss Herbert Sy bared the perks to their players two days before the Lady Bulldogs face the gritty De La Salle Lady Archers in a do-or-die encounter on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Bulldogs made the winner-take-all match possible following their 67-52 win in Game Two on Wednesday to level the best-of-three series at 1-1. The Lady Archers won the opener, 72-48.
“Momentum and confidence is on our side. Boss Herbert Sy of SM Food promised the team a trip to Hong Kong pag nag-champion kami,” said Sy.
NU coach Patrick Aquino for his part, believes a more deadly La Salle team should be expected in the sudden-death encounter.
“Yung depensa nila I’m sure they will adjust. Kasi `yung press nila na-break namin last time,” said Aquino, who employed a choking defensive stop against the Lady Archers that limited them to just 22 points in the second half.
“We stopped (Ara) Abaca and we should also stop the shooting of (Trisha) Piatos,” added the former University of the Philippines stalwart.
Aquino also kept reminding his players to just stay calm and focused, something which they failed to show in the Game One loss.
“It should explain our Game One debacle. Our players were not used to playing in the Finals. Talagang namalahibo sila. Kinabahan sila eh,” said Aquino, who was a former teammate of current Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio during his stint with the Maroons.
“Nung fight game talaga kabado sila. Hindi alam ang gagawin. Pero this time, the morale is high and the girls want to get the championship. We’ll go for it,” he added.
Aquino added winning the women’s title will be a big consolation for the school following the disappointing exit of the top seed NU Bulldogs against No. 4 seed UST Tigers in men’s basketball.
“This is what the school is after, recognition in big leagues like this. And this is what we want to give NU and its supporters,” said Aquino.
“We hope to be the saving grace of the school in this year’s UAAP season,” he added, while likewise stressing the rare thrice-to-beat advantage the NU Bullpups have against the Ateneo Eaglets in the juniors Finals starting on October 7.