SIXTY four and 0.
When winning is the only thing that could happen to any squad, picking up one victory after another then becomes a habit.
For the National University Lady Bulldogs, this mentality has brought them to winning 64 straight games in the UAAP women’s basketball capped by a four-peat.
But head coach Patrick Aquino and his troops have no plans of slowing down.
Aquino said he has no illusions for immortality, but he just wants to keep the winning streak going and to continue the mentality of staying hungry.
“Walang ganoon, but siyempre at the back of our minds, kung pwede natin pahabain pa ‘yung streak, mas maganda. We are now on a 64-0 run and four straight championships,” wrote Aquino in an exclusive interview with FOX Sports Philippines.
There will be challenges along the way for the Lady Bulldogs, however, with a few standouts already maxed out their playing years.
Poised to keep the tradition are holdovers Ria Nabalan, Jack Animam, Rhena Itesi, Monique del Carmen, Flor Ceno, Samantha Harada, Mikka Cacho, Je Anne Camelo, and Choi Layug.
Newcomers are Kaye Pingol, Maymay Canuto, Mayu Goto, Pringle Fabruada, Jeeuel Bartolo and Melody Cac.
Despite having a mixture of veterans and young turks, Aquino remains upbeat in his team’s drive for five.
“Medyo malakas pa rin naman kasi three of the five players in the Mythical team are still here with us, Ria, Jack and Rhena,” added Aquino.
Four straight seasons and 64 straight games later, the NU Lady Bulldogs have remained successful. What makes the team so successful?
“It’s a mix of luck and good management. Maybe suwerte lang kami na nakukuha namin the best players we can find and with the help of the school and especially the management led by Boss Dio (Dioceldo Sy) to support us, maganda pa ang program namin,” wrote Aquino.
“We also have a good set of coaching staff, assistant coaches — Paul Du, Julie Amos, Aris Dimaunahan. Our trainer, Da Olan and PT Russel Urag, maganda yung samahan namin kaya puro positive lang kami.”
For Aquino, he knows having an unbeaten season won’t be permanent, but until that time comes, the Lady Bulldogs will continue to pursue excellence.
“Alam namin na dadating yan hindi puro panalo,” he added. “Syempre minsan alam namin na sarili lang kalaban namin, pero now na alam namin na pati kalaban gusto kunin sa amin ang korona. We ourselves want to make yung first move na hindi makuha sa amin yun.”
The season has yet to start, but the Lady Bulldogs remain committed to get another win — one that could lead to victories until they start building on another run while they still can.
Image from Patrick Aquino’s Facebook