NATIONAL University coach Jamike Jarin encouraged his wards to soldier on and pass this young squad's test of character after suffering its first taste of back-to-back losses in UAAP Season 80.
“This is adversity right now. It’s the first time that we’re below .500 so let’s see the maturity of this team,” said Jarin after the Bulldogs dropped another close against the FEU Tamaraws 90-83 on Wednesday.
“Of course the coaches will still work hard pero yung mga ganitong situation, you have to have that bond in the offseason to help you get out of the hole right now,” he added.
With months of building the team since he took over as coach last Decemebr, Jarin is confident that his team has jelled enough and is ready to face these challenging situations.
“Yes (We’ve built that bond.) We’re just gonna take the pain right now and heal our wounds and move on.”
Jarin rued the stretches in the game where they just simply lost grip of what they intended to do.
Against the Tamaraws, they were good enough to hang around for most of the game, but failed to get into the level where they can take control of the match for good.
“In the first quarter, there was a stretch in the game that they were able to execute and have a seven point lead. From then on we would play catch up again. Same story as Adamson,” said Jarin.
“Their guards were making plays, but my guards, they were making plays too but not as consistent as my guards in FEU. Those are the things that mattered in this game. We didn’t turn the ball over but it’s just the maturity.”
The former NCAA champion coach also challenged his wards to give ample support to star guard JJay Alejandro who has played well in their recent slump.
The graduating Alejandro has averaged 24 points, six rebounds and four assists but in the past two games it was only Matt Aquino who has breached double-digits for the Bulldogs after scoring 13 in their loss to the Tamaraws.
If they want to move forward, the Bulldogs have to work together.
“That is a concern. Like what I said this team is not talented enough to win games so it has to be a collective team effort we need to step up offensively and defensively,” Jarin continued.
Amid the losses, Jarin remains positive that by the end of the season, they’d be reaping everything that they planted from the preseason.
“We’re still positive, we’re still 2-3 and all our losses could have gone either way. Again like what we say, learning experience and hopefully we’ll be in a good position to go deep in the tournament.”