Coach E on Cani steal that led to Ravena 3: ‘That’s the game’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 17, 2015 11:31 AM
Coach E on steal that led to Ravena three: ‘That’s the game'
LEARNING FROM THE LOSSES. NU remains hopeful despite their 0-3 start to the season.

National University was on its way to reinforcing its mastery over Ateneo de Manila University last Wednesday, ahead 57-54 with 17 seconds remaining in regulation when Gelo Alolino’s dribble bounced way too high and Hubert Cani claimed possession of the ball.

The Blue Eagle rookie immediately forwarded the ball to Kiefer Ravena who did what Kiefer Ravena does: hit a beautiful stepback three that sent the game into overtime. Another extra period later, the Katipunan kids hacked out their second consecutive victory while sending the Bulldogs to 0-3.

In head coach Eric Altamirano’s view, however, the reigning MVP should not even have had the chance to take the big shot that eventually doomed the defending champions. “I don’t complain to the referees, I respect them, but I felt they were fouling Gelo during the endgame,” he said.

He then continued, “They didn’t call the foul, naagaw. That’s the game.”

Altamirano may have a point as replays showed that after Paolo Javelona inbounded, Alolino was immediately surrounded by blue shirts who were swiping at the ball with G-Boy Babilonia’s hands seemingly hitting the NU guard’s chest. To be clear, however, Cani's steal was clean.

A dejected Alolino politely refused to be interviewed after the game. “I felt bad for the boys, pero wala tayong magagawa. That’s the referee’s decision. The breaks didn’t go our way,” Altamirano said.

Still, the veteran mentor re-assured the Bulldog faithful that their season is far from over. “Hanggat meron pa kaming games, may pag-asa,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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