NATIONAL University coach Eric Altamirano described the Bulldogs’ loss to University of Santo Tomas as the worst game they’ve played in Season 78 of the UAAP, but nevertheless said he is proud of the team for reaching as far as the Final Four.
Altamirano admitted the Bulldogs simply played poorly in the game that mattered most, admitting they simply couldn’t contain the Tigers in a 55-64 loss on Sunday that ended their reign as men’s basketball champions.
One of the reasons for the poor play, according to Altamirano, was UST’s defense, which is no surprise since the Tigers rank as the No. 1 defensive team in the league in terms of least points allowed.
“What a time to play our worst game,” said Altamirano. “We felt that we didn’t get it done on both ends, offense and defense.”
“I was shocked and surprised that they played like that,” he added. “You can attribute that to UST playing good defense. Maybe it’s the notion na eto na ‘yung last year (of the veterans) and it got into them. A lot of factors that I really can’t pinpoint exactly.”
Altamirano, however, said he was proud of the effort of NU which, despite losing several key players including Troy Rosario, still reached the semis after ending the elimination round with an even 7-7 record.
“I’m proud of the boys. The entire season, there was no lack of effort. There is the will to win. Thankful kami that even though it’s not so good of a season for us, we were able to make it to the Final Four,” said the NU mentor.