EYEBROWS were raised when not a single player from Nazareth School of National University was included in the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball Mythical Team, even after the league board named six players to the list.
But that's the least of NU coach Goldwin Monteverde's concerns. After all, his team got the big prize.
"I’m sure naman merong basis yung pagpili nila. Happy ako for them," Monteverde said after the Bullpups completed a stunning sweep of Kai Sotto and the Ateneo Blue Eaglets to wrest the juniors championship.
The Mythical Team choices were bizarre, to say the least.
First, the board allowed Ateneo's Forthsky Padrigao to make the elite list even if he played just eight elimination games. He ended up tying Adamson's Joem Sabandal, who finished fifth in the MVP race.
The board also ruled FEU-Diliman sniper RJ Abarrientos as a forward after the nephew of PBA great Johnny played as a guard all season long. Awarding spots by position also benefited UST's Bismarck Lina, even if he was only seventh in the statistical race.
Season MVP Kai Sotto of Ateneo and Mark Nonoy of UST led the Mythical selection, but left out of the selection was NU standout Gerry Abadiano (sixth in stats race) as well as teammate Carl Tamayo, who was eighth.
Another NU spearhead, Terrence Fortea, was disqualified for the season-ending awards after being ejected from a game late in the second round.
Monteverde, though, said that he won't lose sleep over the absence of his players in the elusive list.
"Sa amin, very happy ako kasi nakakuha kami ng championships," he said. "Syempre, it’s a team sport."