A teary-eyed Josan Nimes exited the Mapua dugout after their 82-79 loss to Perpetual last Tuesday. From the other side of the arena came out a limping but smiling Scottie Thompson whose Altas just narrowly escaped the pesky Cardinals.
Towards the end of the match, these two were practically going head-to-head, both very badly wanting the win for their respective colleges, but there could only be one winner and it was Perpetual which came away the victors.
Close games like this make victories sweeter and defeats heavier on the chest. We caught up with these two superstars after their post-game huddles to see the contrast for ourselves, from their thoughts during the final minutes of the game to how they plan to prepare for the rest of the season.
Final quarter of the game – what was going through your head?
Scottie: “Iniisip ko nalang yung sabi sa akin nila coach – na sa bandang dulo, take charge ako kasi wala nang ibang beterano. Fine-feed ko yung mga kasama ko at buong tiwala binibigay na ma-shoot yung bola kapag pinapasa ko sa kanila.”
Josan: “I was tired and I was beat, but every game counts. If you could steal a win from Perpetual, it’s a big plus. If we won this, the game would have probably been a momentum game. We would be feeling good about ourselves … and you never know what could happen in the next couple of games.”
The crucial play
Scottie: “Yung play sabi nila coach, pick and roll para sa akin. Iniisip ko grabe yung depensa nila kaya mag-decoy nalang ako. Pag may makitang open, ibibigay ko. Eh ayun si (Gab) Dagangon open sa ilalim.”
Josan: “Daniel (Aguirre) tried to drive but unfortunately missed. Allwell (Oraeme) tried to make a miracle shot sitting down on the ground. Then on that last play, we were down by three but we didn’t even execute. We knew what they were going to do but we didn’t execute.”
How was it like in the dugout after the game?
Scottie: “Sakto lang. Pagkapanalo namin, sobrang saya siyempre. Pero yung nasa dugout na, masaya pa rin pero iniisip din na marami pa kaming kailangan i-improve.”
Josan: “Well, coach was just saying that this is a learning lesson. That it’s still the beginning of the season and we have more opportunities to bounce back.”
How would you describe the game?
Scottie: “Sobrang hirap, hirap, hirap. Sobrang higpit ng depensa ng Mapua. Sa bandang huli, buti kinaawaan ng Diyos. It was a good game pero tough game.”
Josan: “It was hard to take. We just came up short, but overall, it wasn’t a bad game. If we just made our stops and free throws – I missed a lot – maybe it would’ve turned out differently.”
Perpetual was a semifinalist last season, while Mapua was one of the bottom-dwellers. Did you expect for this game to turn out the way it did?
Scottie: “Oo, inaasahan naming lalabas sila ganito kalakas. Coming into the season, Mapua talaga yung team to watch out for. Expected namin na ganito kahirap.”
Josan: “We knew Perpetual was a strong team, but we also knew that we could play with them with how we’ve been playing in the preseason. We knew we had a chance to win.”
Moving forward – what now?
Scottie: “Ngayon, kakain kami sama-sama sa labas. Win or lose naman, ganun talaga usually. Pero bukas, training ulit at siguro isa ito sa mga kailangan mapag-aralan. Personally, titingnan ko kung ano pa kailangan pagtrabahuan para mag-improve pa ako.”
Josan: “No days off. We’re going to practice twice a day on Wednesday and Thursday. We’re going up against Letran who remains to be undefeated so that’s going to be big. It’s a rivalry game and I hope we could win ‘The Battle of Intramuros.’”
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