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National U’s Aroga: ‘I think my best wasn’t enough’

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The National University Bulldogs were dethroned last Sunday in their semifinals encounter against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.

In arguably their worst performance of the season, the Bulldogs scored just eight points in the second quarter that saw them face a deficit that went as high as 16 points. Moreover, National U never experienced the lead in the game that saw them shoot a horrible 26.87% from the field.

It was an awful game for the Bulldogs. Nonetheless, the National University community should still proud of the fact the Bulldogs were still able to reach the post-season despite a rollercoaster season.

National U’s foreign student-athlete Alfred Aroga though felt guilty that he let his teammates down in their do-or-die game. “Because when the game started, I was looking into my teammates eyes,” Aroga, who had seven points and 15 rebounds in the game, reflected. “I was like, ‘How could I let these guys down?’ I’ll try to give my best. I think my best wasn’t enough though and I really respect this UST team.”

Aroga lamented that the Bulldogs were simply no match for the Growling Tigers in that game. He praised the uncanny confidence and calm Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer had during the crucial stages of the contest. “They were so super, super focused. Like a guy like Ferrer, he’s like the heart of the team.” He then added that, “every time we made a bad decision and we would try to press, I was always looking at how he was reacting. Even though he was not a point guard, he would take the ball, and back up like make sure everyone was in position.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times National U’s Aroga: ‘I think my best wasn’t enough’    “UST really wanted it more than us so I’m a fairplay athlete so I give them that. They really deserve it,” Aroga, who is a member of the Mythical Five for this season, admitted.

With his return to Jhocson Street still uncertain, Aroga hopes that the coaches will still line him up even with emerging foreign student-athlete Issa Gaye primed and ready to be called-up to Team A. “I can’t really say nothing about it. It’s up to the coaches. So as far as I’m concerned, I can’t really say nothing about it. It’s up to the coaches and the management,” the former Finals MVP said.

Even in finishing the season at fourth place, the NU senior is still proud of what his team had accomplished this season. “We reached the Final Four even though I was expecting more but I’m not ashamed of this season because we really started bad and nobody could expect us to the Final Four but at least we got there,” he proudly said. “Sayang, we couldn’t go to the next level.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times National U’s Aroga: ‘I think my best wasn’t enough’    Gelo Alolino, Pao Javelona, Kyle Neypes, and Jeff Javillonar playing their last game for the Bulldogs last Sunday, the Cameroonian might be the elder statesman for the Jhcoson Street cagers come next season. Aroga reserved special praise for Alolino, “Gelo is an icon. He’s the heart of our team,” he said about NU’s Smart Elite ambassador. “You could say everytime things were bad, he would just take everything on his shoulder and try to give us games.”

“You need to bring it in your professional team. So they need to bring that same attitude to their professional whatever. So Gelo and all the other seniors, I wish them good luck and I’m pretty sure they’re gonna have an impact in whatever they’re gonna try to do.”

Aroga was mum on the rookies and the potential additions to the Bulldogs but he emphasized to them that they had to step up quickly to compensate for the loss of their senior players. “You need to play like you need to play as champions. So you need to put on hard work that we’re gonna start now.”

Now that the Bulldogs’ season was over, though, Aroga still has a challenge to accomplish this season: graduating with a degree. “I’m trying to get good grades in school now. I really need my diploma. After that, it’s just step after step, we’re gonna show what happens next,” the foreign student-athlete closed.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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