It may not be pretty, but wins are wins for National University head coach Jeff Napa.
The Bulldogs managed to secure another come-from-behind victory, this time against Adamson University. The final score of 69-66 concluded their first round of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament in sole second place on Saturday.
NU committed 21 turnovers, which translated into 20 free points for the Soaring Falcons – but Napa didn’t care about those. He only cared about the victory that pushed them to a 6-1 record.
“Wala akong pakialam kung ano man yung nangyari, yung stats na ‘yun e. As long as we do it our way,” said the third-year Bulldogs coach.
“Kung mag-dead last kami sa lahat, pero we’re winning naman, we don’t care naman e. Talagang as long na ginagawa nila yung part nila, ginagawa nila yung trabaho, walang problema,” he added.
“Yun naman ang usapan dito e, yung W. Whether kahit anong stats mo, kung 0-of-10 ka, still, pang-W pa rin.”
The Bulldogs were also outscored in the paint 28-18 but gained a significant advantage in shooting percentage. They went 28-of-50, which is a 56-percent success rate.
They also made eight of their 20 attempts from beyond the arc.
“Balewala yung sama ng stats na ‘yun. Ganun lang kasimple. Good win for the boys,” added Napa.
Kean Baclaan had two turnovers but more than made up for it with 19 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
He also spearheaded the Bulldogs’ surge in the third quarter, during which they turned a 41-30 deficit into a 55-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Baclaan drained five triples during that pivotal period.
Steve Nash Enriquez committed five turnovers but delivered the clutch baskets in the fourth quarter to finish with 13 points and three rebounds.
“They fought really hard to get back to this game. Give credit to them, kasi alam ni Kean kung paano yung galit ko nung first half talaga.”