After five straight setbacks, the National University finally got that monkey off their back and notched its first win of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the expense of the Far Eastern Tamaraws, 61-39, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
Dave Ildefonso — whose name was recently included in the short list of amateur players for the 2019 SEA Games pool — got hot early for the Bulldogs and finished with a game-best 20 markers.
Speaking after the game, the 19-year-old walking bucket revealed that he and some of his teammates were feeling under the weather prior to the contest.
“This game talaga, masama talaga pakiramdam ko, kami nila Miggy, atsaka ni Kuya, may sakit kami. Nagpapasalamat kami kay lord kasi binigyan niya kami ng strength sa panalo na to. Kahit na hindi kami 100 percent nakapanalo pa rin kami,” he shared.
Although he was the only NU player to finish in double figures, Ildefonso still credited his teammates for feeding him the ball which allowed him to get it going early.
“Dun sa 20-point performance, di naman mangyayari yun kung hindi pinasa sakin ng mga teammate ko at di naman mangyayari yun kung di sila gagagawa ng driving lanes or kung na kay chammy or chino yung bola. It was a team effort talaga,” he added.
Coach Jamike Jarin, meanwhile, also credited his team’s focus from till the final buzzer, as the Bulldogs dominated from the get-go and even held a commanding 29-point lead at one point.
“Before anything else, we’d like to thank God Almighty for giving us the victory, for making us still very competitive even [after] all the losses, we’re still here. The reason why I brought all these young men here because we win together, we lose together. Di ba? That’s our mantra – walang iwanan.”
“You know how I am, every time we win, sila ang bida hindi ako. Sila yung bida, sila yung naglalaro, they deserve all the credit,” he quipped.
NU will look to build a two-game winning streak when they take on the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday, September 29.