With the National University Lady Bulldogs winning their fifth straight crown, Patrick Aquino made history of his own.
Aquino, who has been with NU since 2013, has won his fifth straight championship. This feat means he is tied with Norman Black of Ateneo from 2008-2012 for most number of consecutive, unshared championships in the UAAP’s Seniors Basketball division. Moreover, he is just two away from tying Baby Dalupan of UE, who won seven straight championships from 1965-1972 (his third being a shared crown with UST).
Though it hasn’t sunk in yet, the 47-year-old tactician is humbled that he is now part of this elite list of tacticians in collegiate basketball.
“Hindi ko ma-imagine ang sarili ko being compared to them.
“But you know, sabi ko nga – hindi ko naman makukuha ito kung ‘di sa mga tulong ng iba, like coaching staff ko. Coach Julie [Amos], Coach Paul [Du], lahat ng mga staff namin; ‘yung mga previous players ko, like Afril Bernardino, Gemma Miranda, Shelly Gupilan, Jack [Animam], and Ria [Nabalan]. Maybe siguro, sabi ko, with the help of God and luck. Talagang sobrang saya-saya ko, and I never imagined na magagawa ko ito,” he expressed after NU’s two-game sweep of the FEU Lady Tamaraws, last Wednesday.
From being a UP Fighting Maroon during his collegiate days to a pro afterwards, Aquino admitted that never in his wildest dreams had he thought of achieving this feat – of not just winning five straight championships, but also going undefeated during the process.
“Never in my whole life na we would come and do this.
“I’m just amazed and so proud of what we did. Not me but the whole team, the previous players, the management, and everybody that’s been helping out the team. So sobrang happy and elated. Lahat-lahat na, talagang masayang-masaya ako,” shared Aquino, who is also the head coach of the Women’s National Basketball Team.
But even if they have become a collegiate powerhouse, Aquino continues to remain hungry. And he hopes that he will not experience his greatest fear one day – tasting defeat.
“Well, sabi ko nga lagi, we just prepare to the highest level all the time. Prepare harder, work harder, and stay together,” disclosed Aquino, who will now gun for the all-time streak in collegiate women’s basketball in the next two years.
“I mean, all of these things may come to an end one of these days. But as far as I’m concerned, kung wala pa ‘yun, kailangan mag-trabaho tayo ng mabuti.”