As UAAP Final Four looms, NU coach laments untimely defeat

NU Bulldogs Coach Jeff Napa UAAP Season 85

NU Bulldogs Coach Jeff Napa. Tristan Tamayo’s photo/

MANILA, Philippines—Despite earning a place in the Finals in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, National University coach Jeff Napa was disappointed with the way his team finished in the knockout stages.

The Bulldogs had a staggering defeat to the Adamson Falcons on Saturday, which dealt a blow to their efforts to hit the two-beaten-track engine in the semifinals.

“I’m a bit sad because of course, that’s not how we want to finish qualifying. That’s what we’re lamenting about. On the plus side, we’re still in the Final Four. That’s the brighter side of things,” Napa said later NU lost, 64-63, in game three won by defender Adamson Jerom Lastimosa.

“I told them we’re not looking at a scenario where we would still have a two-beat advantage. I told them, this is an uphill battle that we will have to do. We’ll face anyone of the top two and they have it [twice-to-beat] advantage,” added Napa.

The Bulldogs ended the elimination with a 9-5 record for the third seed behind top teams University of the Philippines (11-2) and Ateneo (9-3).

Napa also said the team has lacked urgency since the Bulldogs won a playoff spot, saying their desire to win is unlike the past four.

“I see that our pressure to win is gone. That’s the culture that I need to teach especially in this situation, about how I can handle being a winner. I tell them, winners weren’t born yesterday. We need to work for it.”

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