Pirate-sinking Generals say being scrappy leads to being happy in NCAA 95

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 17, 2019 07:02 PM
Generals say being scrappy leads to being happy in NCAA 95
EAC hopes that it can follow the footsteps of LPU from being an fighting upstart to being a legitimate contender

Just two games into his tenure as head coach of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Oliver Bunyi has already made a splash.

The veteran mentor guided the Generals in their big-time takedown of title contender Lyceum of the Philippines University last Friday.

Even more, the upstart squad from San Marcelino actually had a double-digit lead in the third quarter before the Pirates battled back to tie the tally in the endgame.

Jethro Mendoza was cool, calm, and collected, however, and hit the layup that led to EAC's first triumph over LPU since 2016 and its biggest win since downing eventual champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran back in 2015.

With that, they sent a statement that they are pushovers no more.

"Of course, morale-booster 'to," coach Oliver told reporters in his maiden post-win interview in the first and oldest collegiate league in the country. "Like I told before na kung ang mga batang 'to, maglalaro ng tama, may chance (kaming) manalo against big teams."

They did that, and more, and pulled off the biggest upset thus far in the season. "Naglaro sila ng tama, binayayaan kami. We have been blessed with a win against LPU and we know how scrappy they are," Coach Oliver said.

Indeed, the Pirates have taken the league by storm by scratching and clawing in each and every moment of game time - and, in the same light, by turning scraps from other squads like CJ Perez and Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee into key cogs.

Apparently, that attitude is what Coach Oliver wants his Generals to have. "Yun nga ang gusto naming dream e - maging scrappy kami tulad nila. Idol namin sila e. Gusto naming maging ganun," he said.

He then continued, "If we are going to be the scrappiest, we are going to be the happiest team in the NCAA."

The even better news for the red and white is that the upset win may very well be just their jump-off point for contention.

And if that does come to fruition, "scrappy" LPU has already proven that an upstart can become a legitimate contender. "That's what we want to happen with us," Bunyi said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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