NAZARETH School of National University goes for broke on Friday as it tries to sweep Ateneo in the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball Finals at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Bullpups have been deprived of the gold since winning the title back in 2016, and for coach Goldwin Monteverde, there's no better time for the Jhocson dribblers to seize the moment and bring themselves back on top.
But rather than be overcome with the gravity of the situation, he has all of his focus on Game Two, set at 3 p.m.
"We just have to be consistent to what we were doing. Syempre, there will be adjustments on both sides, but we have to concentrate on the game itself," said Monteverde, who is eyeing his first UAAP title.
Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao came up big for NU when it scored a 70-58 Game One win as it continued to have Ateneo's number all-season long.
Even Blue Eaglets coach Reggie Varilla lauded the Bullpups for the stellar performance they had in the opener of the best-of-three championship series.
"I think we need to give credit to NU. They really outworked us. Kitang kita sa number of times they got the rebounds and 50-50 balls. We played solid defense, but we couldn’t close it out with a defensive rebound," he remarked.
Though Ateneo's back is now against the wall, Varilla remains defiant as he has his full trust that his boys, bannered by Season MVP Kai Sotto and playmaker Forthsky Padrigao, can get the job done and keep their title retention dreams alive.
"I'm not really worried about that," he said. "We need two more wins to be champions. Lamang lang sila ng 1-0."