Eaglets and Bullpups have nothing but respect for each other
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 02, 2018 08:39 PM
Ateneo won and NU lost, but both teams came away from the Finals with heightened appreciation for one another
Ateneo de Manila High School and Nazareth School of National University just went at it in one of the most intense Finals showdowns the UAAP has ever seen.
Throughout the three games in the championship round, the Blue Eaglets and the Bullpups were right at each other’s throats.
Rhayyan Amsali, Pao Javillonar, and Michael Malonzo had their hands full with Kai Sotto; Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, and Rap Escalona were pitted against Terrence Fortea and Migs Oczon; and even role players like Robert Minerva and Geo Chiu had skirmishes.
No matchup was more physical, however, than the one Ateneo lead guard SJ Belangel and NU floor leader Paul Manalang had.
At the end of it all, though, it was those two who approached each other in a wonderful show of sportsmanship.
Their teammates only followed suit.
That was one of the most intense Jrs. Finals series, but these two teams still have nothing but respect for each other. Congrats to Ateneo, still props to NU! What a great #UAAPSeason80Jrs that was! pic.twitter.com/SI8P5iDhaH— Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Marso 2, 2018
Asked about their battle, Belangel said, “Dati pa kami magkakilala. Close kami ni Paul sa Jr. NBA pa lang.”
He then continued, “Sinabi lang namin sa isa’t-isa na ganun talaga ang laro, physical, pero sinabi rin namin na hanggang court lang yun.”
What matters, the Blue Eaglets’ court general said, is that they all became players after having gone toe-to-toe. “Marami kaming natutunan sa isa’t-isa. Paglabas naman dito, magkaibigan pa rin kami lahat,” he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.