Just having played the last game in his collegiate career last Sunday, Alfred Aroga was not his usual self.
The last one to come out of the National University dugout, the famously stoic Cameroonian was bright and beaming – well, more of a grin actually – as he approached the media who were waiting for him.
Asked to reflect on his time in the UAAP, the Bulldog stalwart said, “I’m very thankful to the Philippines for allowing me in the country plus I want to thank the UAAP, even though they gave me a hard time to play, at least they let me play.”
He then continued, “Through this league and through this country, I have a lot of opportunities, I have had my own name. All I can say is salamat.”
Aroga has spent three years donned in blue and gold, but his most memorable moment was still his ravenous rejection of Ateneo de Manila University’s Kiefer Ravena in the 2014 Final Four. “That stop I did against Ateneo that brought us to the Finals, my God, I was so happy. That was one of the best moments of my entire UAAP (career),” he expressed.
Indeed, it was that block that turned out to be the highest of highlights in NU’s ending of its 60-year championship drought.
That alone was more than enough for the now 24-year-old to persevere through all of the eligibility and injury issues he faced. “I’ve felt a lot of pain in my life, but I fall on my back and not on my tummy. Because when I fall on my back, I can check the sky and know how I’m gonna stand up,” he said.
He then continued, “I always see the good in every bad so I’m really happy about this season because they’re gonna make me grow.”
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