The ending to their UAAP careers was not what they had hoped for, but University of Santo Tomas team captain Jeric Fortuna and fellow senior Melo Afuang are still proud of what the Tigers achieved this season.
“Binigyan kami ni Lord ng malakas na line-up this year. Ang goal sana namin manalo ng championship pero we fell short,” Fortuna told Spin.ph. “Pero proud pa rin ako. Proud ako sa sarili ko at sa buong team.
“Hindi nga ako nag-expect na makakarating kami dito, still, thankful ako,” he added.
On the other hand, Afuang, barely recovered from a bout with dengue fever, could not contain his emotions as he burst into tears after the final buzzer.
“Siyempre malungkot. Siyempre gusto din ng mga teammates ko at ng Thomasian community na mag-champion kami,” said Afuang.
The two seniors, however, have nothing to be ashamed of in their final game in UST's bright yellow uniforms.
Fortuna led the Tigers with 20 points and hit two big three-pointers in the endgame while Afuang provided quality minutes off the bench.
“Sinabi ko sa sarili ko di siguro para samin to (championship). May plano si Lord para sa future kaya heads-up lang," said Fortuna.
UST coach Pido Jarencio has nothing but good words for his wards, specially Fortuna.
“Binigay lahat nung bata mula nung first year niya dinala niya yung team sa championship,” said Jarencio of his peppery 5-7 guard.