J-Jay Alejandro to stay and play fifth year with NU Bulldogs
Jhay Alejandro hopes to help lift the Bulldogs back to the semifinals next season. Jaime Campos

J-JAY Alejandro will stay on for his fifth and final year with National University next season, determined to bounce back following a disappointing campaign in UAAP Season 79.

Alejandro’s squad failed to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2011 as the Bulldogs finished their campaign with a 5-9 record and a defeat against Adamson on Sunday.

But eager to atone for this year’s failure, Alejandro said he will return for next year, dedicating the Season 80 campaign to Alfred Aroga, who graduated with the Bulldogs on a disappointing note as they missed the Final Four.

“Of course,” said Alejandro, when asked if he will come back next year. “For Alfred next season. Gusto ko ma-redeem ‘yung team for Alfred.”

Two years removed from their title victory in 2014, Alejandro said the youth of the team showed midway in the season where the Bulldogs lost to Far Eastern University two consecutive times. It proved to be the turning point of the season as they lost seven of the last eight games including a string of six straight defeats.

“Obviously, rookies lahat. Hindi pa namin alam paano i-accept ‘yung first two losses against FEU. Hindi namin alam kung paano bumangon. Underachieve kami this season kaya malungkot lahat,” said Alejandro.

Alejandro said NU coach Eric Altamirano encouraged the team to learn from the mistakes of this season and use it to the next.

“Sabi lang niya sa amin, accept ‘yung defeat. Kung ano ‘yung nangyari this season, bounce back hard next year,” Alejandro said.

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