NU's Rhayyan Amsali, Terrence Fortea eager to bounce back after falling short in UAAP Jrs title bid
Rhayyan Amsali is eligible toplay one more year for the Bullpups. Marlo Cueto

RHAYYAN Amsali and Terrence Fortea vow to bounce back after falling short in their bid to lift National University to the title in the Season 80 juniors tournament.

The Bullpups bowed to the Ateneo Blue Eagles after blowing a six-point lead halfway through the rubber match.

“Medyo malungkot pa... Malungkot kasi nanalo ng Game Two pero hindi namin nakuha ‘yung goal namin,” said Amsali in an interview with reporters during the Slam Rising Stars Classic press conference.

Fortea said NU can learn from the experience of losing to Ateneo, which went 15 games unbeaten before dropping Game Two.

“Malungkot pero kailangan i-overcome kasi tapos na ‘yun. Hindi ko na iniisip na talo kami. Ginagawa ko na lang learnings ‘yun. Ginawa namin ‘yung best namin. Short lang,” said the Batang Gilas standout.

NU beat Ateneo in Game Two, ending the Blue Eaglets’ chance of sweeping the entire season before the Blue Eaglets came away with a 63-58 win in the rubber match.

Amsali, NU’s top big man, said it was a big boost for him and the team to force a Game Three for the crown.

“‘Yung Game One talo kami, iniisip namin kung ano kailangan namin gawin. Dun na nag-start. Iniisip namin one goal para matalo namin sila,” said the 16-year-old Amsali, who is eligible toplay one more year for the Bullpups.

The 16-year-old Fortea is optimistic about NU’s chance next season as the Bullpups will be playing with Gilas 2023 pool member Carl Tamayo and Gerry Austin Abadiano.

“Sa akin, sobrang laki ng chance namin. Gigil kami mag-champion. Season 78 pa kami huling nag-champion at may mga players kami na papasok,” said Fortea.

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