For Pipo Noundou, it was a dream come true for him to coach against his Alma Mater, Far Eastern University.
That happened Thursday when his FamilyMart-Enderun locked horns with the SeaOil-backed FEU as both squads made their debut in the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
“That was a good feeling. It was like a dream come true.
“That was a good feeling. You face the people that made you who you are today. So you want to show them what you became,” expressed Nouondou, who was a student-athlete of FEU from 2007-11.
“You want to show them that you made a leader and he can lead against you now. That was the mindset,” he added.
Well, Noundou, a Cameroonian, indeed showed how much he has grown as a mentor as his Titans gave the Extreme Racers a tough match that saw them take a 54-48 lead after the first two quarters.
But the Morayta-based cagers emerged as the better team in the second half, as it got its act together behind top guards L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos to hack out the 99-82 victory.
The soft-spoken Noundou admitted that he was frustrated with how FamilyMart-Enderun lost the match.
“I’m so frustrated. Losing in the second half was so bad, we lost control of the game,” he rued as his side actually tied it at 63-all in the final frame only for FEU to pull away for good with an 11-0 run.
Nevertheless, Noundou remained proud of the fight his chargers showed versus FEU. He felt like they have proven that they can go toe-to-toe against some of the country’s top collegiate programs.
“To play against FEU at this stage and give them a tough fight even if it was only for thirty minutes, it proves that we belong,” he said. “Now, we have to keep going. This is just the first game.
“We’re the youngest program in this tournament. We’re just like seven years old. So for me, it’s a blessing. Playing FEU is more than a blessing.”