IN the middle of a horrific five-game slump, National University head coach Jamike Jarin knows that now’s not the time to get discouraged.
Having lost another close one, this time against University of the Philippines, 89-88, Jarin just can’t wait for his young players to finally come out of their shell and play to their potential.
“Remember we just lost two games by five points, one game by four and one game by one. Isn’t that enough experience for these young men to go through? So we just have to go through with this,” said Jarin.
“We can’t put our heads down. We just have to take it as a man and continue to be competitive. We can’t do it by ourselves, we have to do it together.”
Jarin has a group that could potentially contend for a long time if he manages to keep the team together.
With four new players, a bunch of young returning players in his fold, the former NCAA champion coach could only gush at their future – especially if they all start peaking at the same time.
“We need to get up. There’s nowhere to go e but play better and the results will be better. We just have to play better. Sakit na ng dibdib ko e. Not for me, but these young men,” Jarin admitted.
“Imagine this team, playing four more, five more years together. Imagine this team. Can it be Season 85 already?” Jarin asked.
The youth of the Bulldogs definitely showed in the endgame after wasting the golden opportunity to win the match in the end game.
As Javi Gomez de Liano missed two free throws, the ball went to JV Gallego who dribbled across the court and had a clean look to win it at the buzzer. But the immaturity of Gallego showed as he opted to kick the ball out to a waiting Dave Ildefonso as time expired on them.
But Jarin quickly came to Gallego’s defense.
“I just told him ‘hey why are you putting your head down? You think I’m gonna get mad at that? No I never get mad.’ I never get mad with those plays because it was a judgement on his part,” said Jarin.
“He saw that Dave was free and he had a chance to win it, but hey, all of us makes mistakes. That’s part of the growth of everybody. That’s why you’re here to mentor these young men,” he added.
At the end of the day, Jarin said that they just got to keep pushing as he believes that the light at the end of the tunnel is just a couple of good breaks away.
Against the Fighting Maroons, they were almost there but unfortunately, things just didn’t bounce their way and Jarin hopes that they’ll be finally getting their breakthrough next time.
“It sucks right now diba? But again, for today, the ball just didn’t bounce our way. It was breaks of the game, the shot of Paul Desiderio, bank shot from the middle. The shot of Juan Gomez de Liano, hits the cup of the rim, bounces really high and it goes in,” Jarin said.
“And we still had a timeout, Javi Gomez de Liano misses the free throw we end up with the ball and the opportunity to win it. You just got to take all of this. But again there are a lot of things to be thankful than to be sorry. Nobody’s sorry for us right now. We can’t feel like that. We have to adjust, get back and hopefully the results will favor us next time.”