UAAP 82: Finally, Abadiano gets to celebrate championship with teammates

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 09, 2020 06:17 PM
Finally, Abadiano gets to celebrate with teammates
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)

All of 2019 and, thus far, 2020 has been good to Nazareth School of National University.

The Bullpups have been crowned kings in UAAP Boys, National Basketball Training Centre, Palarong Pambansa, and Asean School Games.

In the two grandest stages, however, captain Gerry Abadiano has been unable to celebrate with his team in the very moment they won the championship.

In the title-clinching Game 2 of the UAAP 81 Finals, he incurred two unsportsmanlike fouls and was sent back to the locker room in the third quarter.

In the winner-take-all 2019 NBTC National Finals, he got ejected with just four minutes remaining.

Now in UAAP 82, Abadiano made sure he wouldn't be forced out of the floor before they won it all.

The 5-foot-11 guard figured in no untoward incident and played 31 minutes for 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

And so, he was on the court as National U triumphed over Far Eastern University-Diliman for a sweep of the Finals and a sweep of the season.

That meant that, yes, he was on the court as the Bullpups celebrated their successful title defense.

"Yun talaga yung iniwasan ko kasi two straight na yatang na-thrown out ako," Abadiano said after a hearty laugh. "Siyempre, sobrang sarap lang na after final buzzer, nandun kami lahat. Sobrang saya nun."

And so, the 18-year-old caps off his career in high school as a back-to-back champion.

More importantly for him, he finally felt how it was like to be a champion right when the final buzzer sounded in the season.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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