VICTORY on Saturday was a culmination of a difficult week for National University.
The Bulldogs have been struggling for over a month but the past week was the most agonizing, with heated practices as frustrations boiled over and even coaches struggled to keep their cool, according to gunner J-Jay Alejandro.
NU finally ended an alarming skid at six games with a big win over fellow struggler University of the East.
“Parang ’yung one week, parang one year sa amin,” said Alejandro.
“Wala akong masabi. Maraming pinagdaanan ng team. Proud ako sa mga nag-step up,” said Alejandro.
Alejandro admitted there were times frustrations boiled over during practices last week.
“Nandyan na ’yung nagkakainitan na kami dahil sobrang competitive ng practice namin. Mainit ulo ng mga players at coaches,” Alejandro said.
The Bulldogs’ win boosted their semifinal bid as they improved their mark to 5-8, with Adamson as their final elimination-round opponent on November 13.
Adamson is in fourth spot with a 5-5 card, still four games left in its schedule.
NU coach Eric Altamirano is just happy the Bulldogs finally got a win, insisting he is not thinking about the Final Four.
“We don’t know the significance of this win but the most important thing is we won,” said Altamirano.
Alejandro, on the other hand, is very confident of their semifinal chances, and says the experience will help the team make it.
“At least, alam na namin ’yung feeling. Hopefully, next game or sa Final Four, alam na namin kung paano bumalik,” said Alejandro.
NU held UE scoreless in a critical stretch, turning a 46-50 deficit into a 64-50 lead, with Matt Salem leading the team on offense by scoring 11 of his 20 points in the fourth period.
“That’s the NU I know,” said Joshua Sinclair, who is out with an ACL injury but stayed on the sidelines for support.
“That’s the team that I always saw in practice during the preseason. I’m just glad we were able to execute. When we play well, we really are a good team.”