No doubt, Monteverde has set a gold standard in National U
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 18, 2020 02:56 PM
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)
From last year to this year, Nazareth School of National University has just been a cut above the rest in high school.
The Bullpups won the championship in UAAP 81 and then followed it up with more crowns in National Basketball Training Center, Palarong Pambansa, and ASEAN School Games.
And then in UAAP 82, not only did they defend their title, they did so by sweeping the season.
According to head coach Goldwin Monteverde, there is actually no secret to that sustained success.
All National U did was keep its eyes on the prize. Asked what spurred them on in the face of all obstacles, the softspoken mentor answered, "On our part, it's more of yung commitment namin talaga."
Of course, the 16 wins in 16 games is more than enough proof that the Bullpups' way works.
Along with that, Coach Gold was just proud to have been a witness to his boys staying true to their identity throughout the tournament. As he put it, "Wala akong nakita sa team namin na selosan. It's all about the team, it's all about supporting each other."
He then continued, "Never ko rin silang nakitaang playing for the crowd. Basta naka-focus lang sila sa goal nila."
And that is why in the title-clinching Game 2 behind closed doors, the blue and gold just played its game all the way to a convincing victory.
"Walang audience, pero si coach Gold, talagang na-train na kaming i-express lang yung laro namin na hindi dapat pang-impress sa ibang tao," Finals MVP Carl Tamayo shared. "Play lang kami para sa team. Ang importante sa amin, makuha yung goal namin na pinaghihirapan namin araw-araw."
Now, the Sampaloc-based school is nothing but hopeful that Coach Gold brings over the same winning mentality as he transitions to its Srs. squad.
National U has not made the Final Four since the days of Gelo Alolino, but with the moving up of the veteran tactician, that playoff drought may very well come to an end.
In the same way that promising prospects Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, Terrence Fortea, and Kevin Quiambao came together for a dominant two-year run, the Bulldogs are only looking forward to the coming together of John Lloyd Clemente, JV Gallego, and Shaun Ildefonso for a return to relevance.
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