MANILA, Philippines – The NU Bulldogs’ losing streak to start UAAP Season 82 was unlike any other.
In an unprecedented stretch, the Jamike Jarin-mentored squad dropped 4 straight games either by one point or in overtime.
However, after their blowout loss against Ateneo, the Bulldogs decided they’ve just about had enough and engineered a 61-39 humiliation against perennial contenders FEU Tamaraws.
NU captain Shaun Ildefonso said the team’s hunger was just on another level after going 0-5.
“I told them our drive should be different for this game,” said Ildefonso. “Good thing we succeeded on defense. We had some lapses on offense but you know, it all went for us in the end.”
The Bulldogs now have a chance to start a winning streak when they face fellow cellar-dwellers UE Red Warriors at the end of the first round on Sunday, September 29 at the Araneta Coliseum.
But the Bulldogs need to show the same rabid defense they displayed against the Tamaraws, whom they held to just a 15-of-79 (19%) shooting in the 22-point win.
But the Tamaraws also did look out-of-sorts that day where FEU’s top scorers Wendell Comboy, Pat Tchuente and Xyrus Torres combined for a mind-boggling 0-of-21 clip.
“A win is a win and I think we easily deserved those 4 other games,” Ildefonso said of their early heartbreaks. “I’m glad that we finally got that first win and it feels really great.”
Jarin, too, couldn’t be any more proud of his boys. Right after their breakthrough triumph, he had his entire roster drop by the media room.
“I brought some friends with me!” Jarin bellowed out.
The winning coach and best player usually get the post-game spotlight, but Jarin made sure to recognize his entire team.
“The reason why I brought all these young men here because we win together, we lose together. Right? That’s our mantra – no man left behind,” said Jarin.
“They’re the stars, they’re the ones who are playing. They deserve all the credit.”