NU’s Altamirano: ‘We are not giving up’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 07, 2016 06:35 PM
HOPEFUL. NU is still alive and kicking for the fourth and final playoff berth.
National University started the season with much promise at 4-2 only to suffer six straight setbacks.
The Bulldogs finally stopped the bleeding last Saturday, but at 5-8, they would need everything to go their way just to have a shot at the playoffs.
Asked about the disastrous six-game slump that allowed upstart Adamson University to leapfrog them into the top four, coach Eric Altamirano answered, “Just like any other young team, you lose confidence, you start losing your identity. I keep reminding the boys to stick to the gameplayn.”
He then continued, “Sometimes, maganda intention nila, but sometimes, mali yung execution.”
Leading scorer Matt Salem shared the same sentiments. “We were trying to do too much to win. We tried to do too much as players – that’s what cost us in that drought,” he said.
The good news for NU is that they got a much-needed win just in the nick of time.
The even better news is that they believe that they know who they are once again. As Altamirano put it, “We stuck to the process and went back to the basics. We did it the hard way – it was a hard week for us and (the players) know that.”
The amiable mentor was referring to the week-long layoff before their matchup last Saturday that the Bulldogs used to rediscover their identity.
Apparently, it was indeed a hard week as team captain J-Jay Alejandro even quipped, “Yung one week na yun, parang gone year sa amin.”
Pressed further, he explained, “Sa practice, nagkakainitan na kami kasi sobrang competitive. Lahat umiinit ang ulo including the coaches.”
In the fourth-year guard’s eyes, that is exactly what they needed. “Masyado nang maraming pinagdaanan yung team in one month kaya be optimistic lang na kaya pa namin. Although hindi na namin ngayon hawak yung Final Four slot namin, go hard pa rin,” he shared.
Altamirano could only agree. Rallying his troops for one last stand in the season, he expressed. “We are not giving up. Kahit anong mangyari, we are going to give it our best shot.”
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