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    Jeff Napa happy to see Bulldogs respond to halftime wake-up call

    Apr 7, 2022
    Jeff Napa and the Bulldogs bounce back.

    NATIONAL University coach Jeff Napa would rather not say what he told his wards in that lengthy halftime break.

    All that matters to him is that the huddle rocked the Bulldogs from their slumber en route to the 31-point rout of University of Santo Tomas, 82-51 on Thursday in the UAAP basketball tournament.

    "Wag niyo na alamin," he said with a laugh as he chose not to go into details on what he told his players inside that dugout.

    Table officials desperately tried to call NU out of its locker room as the buzzer repeatedly sounded to signal the start of the second half.

    And when the Bulldogs finally emerged out of the dugout, they came out looking like a completely different team.

    Shaun Ildefonso, who had a big hand in that turnaround scoring 10 of NU's 25 third quarter points, said that the halftime talk was really more about shaking off the lethargic start.

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    "We weren't really happy sa first half namin. Sobrang lamya namin. Di kami ganoon," he said as the Bulldogs only held a narrow 35-31 halftime lead.

    Shaun IldefonsoShaun Ildefonso and the Bulldogs even their record 3-3.

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      "Coming to halftime iniisip lang namin yung sabi ni coach and we have to act upon it, correct our mistakes, and good thing na we played good basketball and defense was there. Tuloy tuloy na yung energy sa third and kahit sino yung ipasok ni coach, walang masamang pumasok dahil lahat nag-contribute."

      Napa clarified that it's really all he did, deliver a wake up call to his side, saying, "Para lang lumabas yung totoong laro ng players ko."

      "Ginising ko lang yung mga players ko kasi mababa yung aggressiveness namin at nakita namin na hindi kami ganoon with how we play."

      It also helps that the players' families are in attendance, an added morale boost as NU remains inside its own bubble as fans are finally welcomed back in the stands.

      "Malaking factor na nandyan yung pamilya ng players namin at gusto nilang magpakita agad. Pero sabi ko nga, yung game kusang dumarating na lang yan," he said.

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      That's why Napa doesn't mind whatever the repercussions of that lengthy discussion is as long as he gets his point across to the Bulldogs.

      "At least paglabas namin, kahit maka-10 beses sila na mag-buzzer o ma-technical man ako, na-address namin yung kailangan naming i-address. At least pagdating ng endgame, fully alive na kami."

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      Jeff Napa and the Bulldogs bounce back.
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