NATIONAL University coach Eric Altamirano is taking a positive approach despite a 0-3 to start to the Bulldogs' title-retention bid in UAAP Season 78.
Altamirano was disappointed but unbowed after the Bulldogs let a game get away on Wednesday night in a 70-74 double-overtime loss to the Ateneo Blue Eagles, a team they had beaten in their last six match-ups.
“Habang may games, may pag-asa,” said Altamirano.
Altamirano admitted he was satisfied with the team’s defense, a part of their game that he put a lot of focus on after the Bulldogs' loss to University of the East.
But the NU coach admitted Alfred Aroga’s absence was just too much to overcome in overtime.
“I think there is a big improvement sa defense namin today. Except that it is hard kung wala si Alfred. We were outrebounded,” said Altamirano, referring to the 13-32 discrepancy in the offensive rebound department.
Altamirano also said the calls didn’t go their way.
“Forty three against 16,” said Altamirano, referring to the free throw attempts discrepancy. “I don’t complain to the refs. I respect them. But I felt they (Ateneo) were fouling Gelo (Alolino) during that fourth quarter. They didn’t call the foul. Naagaw. Dalawang beses. That’s the game. I felt bad for the boys.
“Pero wala tayong magagawa. That’s the referees’ decision. The breaks didn’t go our way,” said Altamirano.
Altamirano said the Bulldogs must put the loss behind them since they have to face undefeated leader University of Santo Tomas on Saturday.
“Just like any other loss, we have to move on. Don’t dwell on this game. We have to focus on UST," he said. “We just have to continue to remain steadfast, focus on what we are doing and do not waver. Just continue to work hard and good things will come out of it.”