Championship thoughts from the NU Bulldogs
Tricia Robredo on Aug 21, 2015 10:53 AM
(Photo: Santino Honasan/ABS-CBN Sports)
Before the UAAP season started a year ago, no one really paid much attention to the National University Bulldogs. Entering without Ray Parks, Jean Mbe and several other key players, who would have thought that they could win it all?
Breaking the 60-year drought at a time when they were considered the underdogs truly made their victory one for the books. I asked my (former) team what they loved most about being the champions and here are their thoughts.
Dave Yu (who tore his ACL last February but will be seeing action in the upcoming season!): “Sweeter siya kasi hindi namin in-expect na aabot kami doon.”
Med Salim: “Yung buffet? Best thing yung honor na dinala namin. Yung bragging rights na rin! Joke lang (medyo).”
Toci Tansingco: “Yung respeto ng mga tao. Tapos yung nabigay namin sa management, sa school. Dati kasi hindi kilala. Ngayon, mas nirerespeto nila yung team tapos university.”
Alfred Aroga (the one and only Silent Assassin!): “It feels good, but at the same time, it makes you think twice again. Because you need to work hard to get back there again.”
Jay Alejandro: “Siyempre yung glory and prestige. Tsaka yung respect na nakuha namin from ibang teams.”
Gelo Alolino (captain ball): “Malaking bagay for the university yung pag championship. Yung standard ng school, tumataas na rin.”
Kyle Neypes: “Yung honor na naibigay namin sa school tapos na-recognize kami lalo. Yung mga supporters lalong naniwala. Tapos 24,000 (people) yung nanood, diba? 12,000 doon, sabihihin natin atin. Eh capacity ng NU, six (thousand) lang. So saan nanggaling yung kalahati?”
Paolo Javelona: … siya nalang tanungin niyo, guys.
Now that all eyes are on them, the Bulldogs weigh in on their thoughts about how they’re feeling and how they’re looking at the season ahead.
Dave: “Kinalimutan na namin yung last year kasi tapos na yun. Bagong season, bagong story ulit. One game at a time.”
Med: “Hindi maiwasan ang pressure kasi defending champions. Kaya kailangan namin gawin yung dating ginawa. Kailangan ko mag step up. Maraming nawala katulad ni Glenn (Khobuntin) and Troy (Rosario), ka-position ko pa.”
Toci: “Siguro, mag-improve as a team player. Gusto ko rin makatulong sa team kung gamitin man ako ni coach. Bibigay ko lahat ng best ko para sa team.”
Alfred: “I’m not scared at all, no pressure. I’m just meditating on what I have to do to help the team. And as far as being scared is concerned, I have no fear though.“
Jay: “Sa amin, siyempre last year champion. Hindi mawawala yung pressure, lalo na galing sa ibang tao. Maglalakad ka sa labas tapos sasabihin sayo ng iba, champion ulit ha. Hindi mawawala yung challenge sa defending champions.”
Gelo: “This year, I guess nasa amin na yung pressure. Lahat talaga ine-eye kami. They’re looking at us, kung paano susukatin sarili na. Whether we go higher or lower or mag-stay sa level. As a veteran, di namin yun ima-mind as much as possible.”
Kyle: “Wala namang pressure. Nag-champion na kami, diba? So ngayong taon, iba naman yun. Yung walong team na yun, lahat gusto mag-champion so pantay-pantay na kami. As a veteran, same pa rin kagaya ng last year. Work hard, maging always ready. Positive. Kailangan nasa condition kasi mahirap systema ngayon eh. Takbuhan kami.”
Pao: … medyo mahiyain daw siya (kunwari) kaya no comment nalang.
So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves what he and the rest of the Bulldogs will be doing to defend the title, without the services of bigs Glen and Troy, who have already graduated from collegiate ball.
Best of luck in the upcoming PBA draft, boys! And, of course, best of luck, NU Bulldogs!