'Nandun kami, hindi kami nawala' - NU coach Alinsunurin on close game one loss
Santino Honasan on May 02, 2017 04:27 PM
"Pero sabi ko nandun na nga, at least nandun kami, hindi kami nawala, hindi kami naiwanan ng malayo." - NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin
Three sets into game one of the UAAP Season 79 men's volleyball finals, National University had defending champions Ateneo de Manila on the ropes, holding a 2-1 set lead, and looked to be on their way to handing the Katipunan side their first loss of the season.
Then, Ateneo took over in set three to force a fifth set.
In the fifth set, it looked like Ateneo were about to make quick work of NU, but like in all classic matches, the Bulldogs decided that they wouldn't go down just yet.
From being down as much as 13-8 in the final stanza, NU mounted a spirited comeback, capped off by three straight points from James Natividad to even things up at 13-apiece. Sadly for the Bulldogs, their run would end their, as Ateneo closed out the set on a match-clinching block from Rex Intal.
It's the first time this season that the Blue Eagles were pushed to five sets, and it was also the first time this season that they were the ones playing catch up, and for NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin, he felt that it all came down to that final sequence.
"Siguro nung huli nag-doubt lang talaga si Fauzi [Ismail] nung huli, sa sitwasyon na yun, papaluin talaga niya yun eh," Alinsunurin said. Ismail led NU with a team-high 22 points in game one.
Alinsunurin wasn't too down after the close loss however, and instead hopes that the effort would carry over and keep the Bulldogs inspired heading into game two.
"Pero sabi ko nandun na nga, at least nandun kami, hindi kami nawala, hindi kami naiwanan ng malayo."
"Siguro sa next game namin talagang pagbubutihan namin na makuha na. First set pa lang dapat makuha na namin, para hindi maging ganun yung sitwasyon namin." Alinsunurin added.
Looking ahead, Alinsunurin said that it would be up to the Bulldogs and how hungry they are if they're to take the step to the next level and take the defending champions down.
"Parang mismong kami na lang yung tatanungin kung talagang gusto namin dun, sana sa next game namin hindi na sila mag-doubt, everytime na nasa loob ng court, na kaialangan namin pumuntos, pupuntos kami, kailangan namin magtrabaho, magtatrabaho kami."
Game two between Ateneo and NU happens on Saturday, May 6, 12:00 noon at the Araneta Coliseum.
Catch it live on S+A channel 23, S+A HD channel 166, and livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap