CAMEROONIAN Karim Abdul was so elated with at how University of Santo Tomas extracted revenge against National University in UAAP Season 78 that he expressed how he felt in Filipino.
“Sabi ko sa inyo, nasaktan ako nung last game. nakabawi kami. ‘Yun lang,” said the veteran big man after the Growling Tigers' vengeful 65-57 win over the defending champions on Saturday night.
Abdul’s feelings were understandable.
He was right in front of Alfred Aroga when his fellow Cameroonian from NU converted a tough fadeaway shot to win the game for Bulldogs, 55-54, in the first meeting between the two teams this season last September 19.
Abdul atoned for that first round loss in a big way by finishing with a near-double double of 13 points and eight rebounds for the Growling Tigers.
So intense was the game between UST and NU that Abdul and Aroga exchanged words during the game and had to be separated in order to avoid the incident from further escalating.
Abdul, however, said the episode against Aroga was due to the intensity of the game.
“It was a mental game. It’s just a game. After the game, we are friends. But during the game, we are not,” he said.
Abdul’s heroics paved the way for UST to tie Far Eastern University anew at the top of the standings, with both teams carrying 8-1 win-loss slates.
Despite regaining a piece of the lead, Tigers coach Bong Dela Cruz said the team still has a lot to improve, cautioning that it’s still a long way to go in the tournament.
“Every practice, kailangang mag-improve kami,” Dela Cruz said. “’Yun lang naman ang target namin. One game at a time.”