WINNING the UAAP championship remains the ultimate goal — and the only way to redemption — for National University (NU) after witnessing its immaculate streak get snapped at last after nine long years.
The NU Lady Bulldogs’ 108-game win streak on Wednesday came to an end at the hands of the De La Salle Lady Archers by virtue of a 61-57 overtime defeat, their first since 2013 ironically against the same team.
All good things must come to an end, admitted first-year NU mentor Aris Dimaunahan, but with hopes of it signaling a fresh start in a bid to still protect its dynasty for six straight seasons and counting.
“Streaks are bound to be broken and on Wednesday, it happened. The real challenge for us now is how well can we bounce back after this loss,” said Dimaunahan, a witness to all of NU’s century wins as assistant coach before taking over from Pat Aquino this Season 85.
“The goal of this team is to not get the streak. The goal of this team is to win the championship. Doon kami magfo-focus,” he added.
WE WILL FOCUS ON WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Similar to when they were comfortably on the UAAP summit for almost the decade though, Mr. Dimaunahan called on his wards to soak under the agony of defeat however tough it is for only 24 hours before they forget it and regain their acts together.
“Like what I said to you at those times when we were winning, we got these 24 hours of everything. We’ll have 24 hours to feel sorry for this. The next hour will be moving forward for them,” he said, tipping his hat to De La Salle’s feat under the helm of coach Cholo Villanueva.
“These girls never lost in the UAAP… But the challenge really is after 24 hours, what do you do? Bounce back.”
At 12-1 for a sure No. 1 finish and a twice-to-beat bonus, NU eyes for the quickest redemption against also-ran Adamson tomorrow before embarking on a Final Four journey from a usual stepladder ride for the first time in seven seasons. — John Bryan Ulanday