UAAP 82: NU's Shaun I.: 'I believe we're gonna make the Final Four'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 12, 2019 07:18 PM
NU's Shaun I.: 'I believe we're gonna make the Final Four'
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

For the second straight game in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament, National University lost in heartbreaking fashion.

The Bulldogs battled back from a 14-point deficit to snare away a one-point lead, 82-81, late in their game last Wednesday.

Still with 28.1 ticks to go, however, Kurt Lojera emerged as the unlikely hero for De La Salle University with a baseline jumper that proved to be the game-winner.

And so, National U remained winless in two tries.

This, just four days after their hearts were also broken by Lenda Douanga's improbable game-winning three for Adamson University.

Coming from that contest, team captain Shaun Ildefonso promised a mighty rebound. "The night after the Adamson game, we couldn't really sleep. Sabi talaga namin sa sarili namin, we hope that never happens again," he said.

Ildefonso, without a doubt, did his part and turned in a career game of 26 points on top of five steals against the Green Archers. "To be honest, I didn't really know I would play like this. I think, career-high ko na 'to sa buong buhay ko e," he told reporters through chuckles.

As it turns out, however, the third-year forward was only inspired by the inspired play of his younger brother. As he put it, "Ang ganda nung game ni Dave nung first game e so sabi ko, ako naman kaya? Sinasabihan ko sila, 'Pre, pasahan mo lang ako sa labas, bibitaw talaga ako,'" he shared.

He then continued, "One thing I lacked the first game was confidence, pero ngayon, no hesitation na. Good thing they were going in."

Unfortunately, each of the Ildefonsos' big games eventually ended as heartbreaking losses.

Still, Kuya Shaun has full faith that the Bulldogs will get going sooner than later. As he put it, "We still have 12 games left. No reason to give up now kasi I really believe we're gonna make the Final Four."

He then continued, "Malakas ang paniniwala ko dun kahit dalawang talo na kami ngayon."

For that to happen, the NU skipper knows full well he has to build on his big-time outing. "Hopefully, mas maging consistent ako not just in bringing energy to the team, but also helping on offense," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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