Twin losses to FEU killed NU’s confidence, says Alejandro

Absorbing back-to-back losses to defending champion Far Eastern U has certainly put National U’s campaign in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament in complete disarray.

No less than veteran wingman J-Jay Alejandro admitted this on Sunday when the Bulldogs absorbed a numbing 53-77 defeat to the Adamson U Soaring Falcons, giving them another sorry setback in what turned out to be a disappointing title campaign.

“(Nag) Underachieve kami this season,” said the fourth-year Alejandro, summing up their woeful showing that saw the Bulldogs drop all but one of their last eight matches and miss the Final Four round for the first time since 2011.

NU, considered by many as one of the top title threats during the pre-season, finished fifth overall with a 5-9 record.

Alejandro was man enough to admit NU’s epic collapse following a 4-2 win-loss start was triggered by its two straight losses—with an average margin of 2.0 points—to FEU in a span of four days in early October.

“Hindi nila alam kung paano i-accept ‘yung two losses against FEU. Hindi na namin alam kung paano bumangon dun,” he lamented. “Ang dami ring pinagdaanan ng team masyado.”

Alejandro added he’s eager to help NU redeem itself next year for Cameroon import Alfred Aroga, who has already graduated after playing for three years, highlighted by a championship run in 2014.

“Gusto nga sana namin mapanalunan yung last para kay Alfred, hindi pa rin nangyari. Ayun, malungkot lahat,” said the former Malayan High School standout.

“Sabi lang niya is accept ‘yung defeat, kung anong nangyari sa season, then bounce back hard next year. So ‘yun, we’ll be stronger next year. Gusto kong ma-redeem ‘yung team, for Alfred.” – By Jerome Lagunzad

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