Coach Atoy: ‘Sa nilalaro namin, wala na akong mahahanap pa’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 20, 2017 09:17 PM
ALL I HAVE. Head coach Atoy Co thinks his Mapua Cardinals are actually exceeding expectations.
For the second straight time, the home team ended up as the losing team in the NCAA on Tour in the Season 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Mapua University dropped a 60-63 decision to visiting University of Perpetual Help right in its home court on Thursday.
That was the same fate of home team Arellano University against visiting San Sebastian College-Recoletos a week ago.
Unlike the Chiefs, however, the Cardinals don’t have any regrets.
That is especially true as Mapua still had a couple of chances to force overtime, but both Andoy Estrella and Almel Orquina’s triple tries rimmed out.
“Paubos na yung oras kaya naisip ko lang na itira na lang talaga. E sumablay,” Estrella said post-game, not even looking like they were just sent to their second loss in three games.
After all, the Cardinals have indeed nothing to do but be satisfied with how they have moved forward from the losses of two-time NCAA MVP Allwell Oraeme as well as Joseph Eriobu, CJ Isit, and Darrell Menina.
Starting the season with a close loss to Arellano, the Intramuros-based squad then scored its first win after Estrella hit a game-winner against rival Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
And now with another close loss, head coach Atoy Co said they are actually exceeding expectations. As he put it, “Look at my lineup, for them to show this kind of game, I’m already happy with them. Even though I still want to have a win, of course, with the way we’re playing, I think we’re pretty good.”
He then continued, “Talagang kulang kami sa manpower, pero sa nilalaro namin, wala na akong mahahanap pa.”
That is exactly why Estrella is calling on his schoolmates to continue cheering on Mapua even away from campus. “Sana kahit natalo kami, sana suportahan pa rin nila kami. Sana kahit hindi rito yung game, manood sila ng mga game namin sa (Filoil Flying V Centre),” he expressed.
And who knows, perhaps the Cardinals could host another game. Asked if he would want another NCAA on Tour in their campus, he answered, “Siyempre naman! Nakakataas ng balahibo kapag sumisigaw sila.”
He also added, “Last year ko na so sana maulit ulit.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.