NU coach on runner-up finish: ‘Lumabas pagkabata ng mga player ko’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 27, 2016 07:32 PM
GROWING PAINS. Coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes, coach Dante Alinsunurin is nothing but confident that his NU Bulldogs will only be stronger next season.
For the second year in a row, National University fell short in their campaign and had to cede the championship to Ateneo de Manila University.
Unlike last season when there was a great hope to grant Peter Torres a grand farewell, however, the Bulldogs said they already overachieved with a runner-up finish. As coach Dante Alinsunurin put it, “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘’Di natin akalaing ganito posisyon natin na tayo pa lumaban sa championship samantalang mas maraming mataas linalaro sa atin.”
He then continued, “Sa nangyaring ‘to, achievement na.”
Alinsunurin said as much because following the exit of former MVP Torres, only Vince Mangulabnan and Ruben Baysac had more than two years of experience among NU’s starting six during the season. Moreover, team captain Mangulabnan was his lone graduating player.
While inexperienced, the Bulldogs still had more than enough to snare the second-seed after the elimination round. They also had more than enough to fend off a very game Adamson University in the Final Four.
Once the Finals came, however, the inexperience set in and Mangulabnan looked like a grown man playing with still growing boys. “Lumabas yung pagkabata ng mga player ko,” the NU mentor admitted.
After claiming the first set of the championship round, the Sampaloc-based squad dropped the succeeding six. “Yung mga simpleng unforced error, dun kami nagkaproblema,” Alinsunurin said of his team that also had no answer for neither season MVP Marck Espejo nor Finals MVP Ysay Marasigan.
Still, two years in a row of silver medals have only taught the Bulldogs many lessons while also giving them great huger. As a promise, their coach expressed, “Next year, sinisiguro kong babawi kami.”
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