NATIONAL University-Nazareth School would have wanted to celebrate in front of its supporters.
But with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak gripping the metropolis, it was left with no choice but to play in the UAAP juniors finals without any fans in attendance.
"Ang daming parents who flew over just to watch yung game dapat. Syempre mas magiging masaya kung nandoon yung mga parents ng mga bata to support them," said coach Goldwin Monteverde.
The unusual setup meant little to deter the Bullpups as they completed a perfect 16-0 season to win back-to-back titles in the UAAP Season 82 boys basketball tournament after slipping past FEU-Diliman, 87-80, on Monday.
"Nag-stick pa rin kami, which is yung goal naman namin talaga to get this championship," said Monteverde.
The absence of fans in the stands even served as a fuel for the NU Bulldogs, who were motivated to come home to their parents triumphant.
"Inisip na lang namin, para sa parents namin na sumusuporta yung game," said Gerry Abadiano, who finished with 20 points, five rebounds, five steals, and four assists in the clincher.
"Hindi namin control 'yung mga ganoong pangyayari, pero kung nag-focus lang kami sa team namin at sa goal namin, sa kung ano ang gusto mangyari."
Weird as the situation was for NU to celebrate a championship without its supporters, all that matters to the Bullpups is that they got the job done.
"Bonus na lang na mapanood kami ng parents namin," said Abadiano. "At least nakuha pa rin namin dahil para sa kanila naman ito."