A fan in last season sweep, Fortea now the leading man in Bullpups' bid for perfect UAAP 82

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 06, 2020 07:15 PM
Fortea the leading man in Bullpups' bid for perfect UAAP 82
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Terrence Fortea and Nazareth School of National University are one win away from a perfect season.

After overcoming Far Eastern University-Diliman in Game 1 of the Finals, the Bullpups have now won all 15 games in the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament and need just one more mark for a rare 16-0 championship.

Fortea had a major role in that as he energized the defending champions after their slow start and ended with 24 points built on five triples on top of three rebounds.

Clearly, that was the sparkplug guard's best game of the season - and that was all motivated by something he had seen seven years ago.

"Nung first year ko sa NU, naalala kong nanonood ako sa venue nung nagse-celebrate na sina Hubert," he recalled. "Ginawa ko yung motivation habang wala pa kaming laro. Nandun na kasi kami sa goal namin na yun at nakikita naming kaya rin naming gawin."

In 2013, Jeff Napa-coached and Hubert Cani-led National U completed a clean sweep of the season - something that hadn't been done before or since in the high school ranks.

And apparently, a then-12-year-old Fortea had front row seats to history being made.

Now, he wants nothing more than to make history of their own. As he put it, "Siguro, sobrang laking bagay yun kasi NU rin yung nakagawa nun. Sa amin, kaya rin naming gawin, pero back-to-back (championships) naman. Ibang storya naman."

The 5-foot-11 scoring machine and the rest of the Bullpups try to do just that in Game 2 on Monday.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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