UAAP: Ria Nabalan graduates undefeated after 80 games
Danine Cruz on Dec 07, 2018 08:01 PM
"One day siguro matatalo kami pero hindi pa ngayon." -- Ria Nabalan
As the ladies of National University were jumping up and down to celebrate their fifth straight championship in the UAAP Women's Basketball tournament Wednesday morning, Ria Nabalan was fixing all of the five gold medals that she earned in her five playing years around her neck.
Ngiting 80-0, ngiting never pa natatalo sa UAAP. Ria Nabalan with her five championship medals! pic.twitter.com/nBBA7VvcyD— Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 5, 2018
It was a spectacular sight. The bubbly sharp shooter was wearing five medals from different seasons, but all five say the same thing: "CHAMPION". Plus, from Seasons 77 to 81, she has never been on the losing column in all the 80 games she played.
All she knows is the taste of victory.
Looking back at her beginnings as a rookie from Chiang Kai Shek College in 2014, Nabalan never thought she would end up this successful.
"Hindi [ko naisip ito] syempre, may mga times siguro na madodown kami, marami kami struggles and bilog yung bola, pero hindi ngayon," she said.
Aside from joining an elite list of UAAP athletes who graduated undefeated, she is also part of another historic group of players who have scored 40-points in a single game. She notched this milestone on October 20, 2018 versus De La Salle University.
Anchored on Ria Nabalan's career-high of 40 points, the National University Lady Bulldogs notch their 72nd straight win in the UAAP. They are just one game away from matching the league record for the longest winning streak set by the Adamson Softball team. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/1dh21RB9gP— Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) October 20, 2018
She is also a pivotal part of NU's record-breaking run, wherein the Lady Bulldogs snatched the record for the longest winning streak in UAAP history back in October 27, 2018.
Still, it was just in her very final game wearing the NU jersey that she considered herself as a history-maker. As she described, "Masaya syempre, at least ngayon masasabi ko na naging part na ako ng history."
From her record-setting performances to her spunk on and off the court, Nabalan leaves a lasting impression on the Lady Bulldogs' program. She is one who always expresses confidence in her team. When asked if she remembers any point in her UAAP career that she thought she was going to lose, she had a ready answer.
"Wala. Andyan naman mga teammates ko at coaches namin eh. Wala. Hindi kami pwede matakot kasi alam naming nasa likod namin ang isa’t isa," she said with full conviction.
"One day siguro matatalo kami pero hindi pa ngayon," she added.
After a stellar UAAP career, the Sports and Wellness Management major shared that she plans on serving the nation either through Philippine Navy or the women's national team Perlas Pilipinas next.
"Siguro magtatry ako mag Navy kasama yung mga seniors ko. Depende pa kung anong mangyayari sa akin. Hoping din sana for RP team," she said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz