UAAP: Kai calls on Eaglets to fight Bullpups' fire with their own fire

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 18, 2019 07:36 PM
Kai calls on Eaglets to fight Bullpups' fire with their own
Kai Sotto wants Ateneo to consistently stand up to NU

Ateneo de Manila High School got swept in the elimination round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament by modern-day rival Nazareth School of National University.

However, the Blue Eaglets got a golden opportunity to get back at the Bullpups as the two teams were pitted against one another for all the glory in the Finals.

There, Sotto expected one thing and one thing only – for the challengers to their throne to keep bringing it to them. “Alam naman natin na yung NU, talagang physical maglaro,” he said.

And that is exactly why, in the Season 81 MVP’s eyes, the defending champions had to bring it right back. “Dapat kami, ‘di kami mag-back down. Talagang i-aaccept namin yung challenge,” he said.

He then continued, “Kung maging physical sila, magiging physical din kami. Lalaban din kami.”

In the first half and early third quarter of Game 1, Ateneo did just that.

Sotto teamed up with twin tower Geo Chiu to power their side to a five-point lead.

Only, the Blue Eaglets took their foot off the pedal the rest of the way and never recovered.

And in the end, NU took a well-earned 70-58 win and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

For the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old, it was clear that they fell short of sustaining the physicality needed to match up with the Bullpups. As he put it, “Nandun yung effort, kaso may times na nawawala. Inconsistent kami.”

That is exactly what they will be working on as they head into a must-win Game 2 on Friday.

There, Sotto had but one promise. “’Di namin basta-basta ibibigay yung championship,” he said, full of confidence.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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