Superstitious Kyle Neypes cuts hair short in hope of helping end long NU title jinx
Bulldogs forward Kyle Neypes and his 'before and after' look. Jerome Ascaño and Jaime Campos

FORWARD Kyle Neypes is willing to do anything to help National University end a long title drought in the UAAP.

Even if it means doing away with his long hair and ponytail.

A superstitious person, the hard-working Bulldog arrived for NU's game against Adamson at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday sporting a short, clean cut for the first time in two years.

“Para maiba naman,” the 22-year-old  forward said when asked by Spin.ph why he decided to finally get a haircut. “Two years na akong hindi nagpapagupit.”

Neypes admitted he doesn’t want his long hair to `jinx’ the Bulldogs’ title campaign.

“Para hindi ma-jinx. Two years na kaming laglag. Para maiba naman,” said Neypes, referring to the Bulldogs missing out on the Finals for two straight seasons.

The Bulldogs’ lone UAAP championship came in 1954 behind a team bannered by the late great Narciso Bernardo.

The former University of Santo Tomas high school standout said he decided to grow his hair long two years ago in honor of Jesus Christ.

“Para kay Jesus talaga ‘yun kaya ganun ‘yung style,” said the fourth-year player.

Unfortunately, his long locks has often been misconstrued, with some including the referees thinking he's a 'bad boy.'

“’Yung mga referee parati akong tinatawagan ng foul. Hindi naman bad boy look (ito),” said Neypes in jest.

On the court, Neypes said he’s doing everything to help NU end a long title drought.

He said he has been trying his best in rebounding and defending as he takes on a bigger role for the team following the exit of Emmanuel Mbe, who played out his final year of eligibility with the school last season.

“Mas maganda ngayon (na nakakatulong ako). Last year, wala. Medyo ngayon, na-iinvolve na ako,” said Neypes.

He also likes the team’s chances this season.

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“Maganda ‘yung ball movement ngayon. Nagkakaintindihan kami ngayon. ‘Yung sistema namin, sanay na kami,” said Neypes.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports