Jarin takes blame for Bulldogs' UAAP exit

By Denison Rey A. Dalupang

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Jayjay Alejandro in his last game for the National University Bulldogs, Saturday at the Big Dome | Contributed Photo

MANILA, Philippines — National University remained holed in their dugout after losing to University of the Philippines, 81-106, on Saturday night.

It was understandable. After all, it wasn’t just the game the Bulldogs lost — they’ll miss the bus to the semis, their shot at a title and their best player, too.

“I’d be lying if I said I’m not disappointed,” head coach Jamike Jarin said. “But first, I want to take full responsibility for not barging into the Final Four. Sabi nila we were the dark horse. We were almost there.”

“We were one game away from a playoff,” he added. “We just got into a head-on collision with a guy named Paul Desiderio.”

“It didn't go well,” Jayjay Alejandro, the Bulldogs’ skipper and the lone member of the 2014 championship team added. “The whole game, ‘di ba parang up and down. It was like rollercoaster, babalik kami tapos malalamangan.”

National U simply had no answer to the University of the Philippines, who just like them, were fighting for their lives to stay in the hunt for the last Final Four slot. 

“Ganoon talaga eh,” Alejandro, the Bulldogs’ steadiest performer in Season 80, noted. “There's defeat in every situation.”

But beyond the gloomy lines, Alejandro who was exchanging “I love yous” with his coach the whole time the Bulldogs making their way out of the Big Dome, said there’s still a lot to be thankful for.

And quite fittingly, the decorated Jarin feels the same way.

“It was fun. Especially ‘yung last year ko with coach Jamike,” Alejandro said. “‘Yun talaga sa akin ang best memory ko other than ‘yung championship namin.” 

The Bulldog finished his last game in an NU uniform with 16 markers — leading all locals in scoring. He added eight assists and four rebounds to his line. 

“And I think binigay ko naman yung best ko buong year kaya wala akong regrets,” he added.

Alejandro and Matt Salem are the only two players to graduate from NU this year.

“I’m just proud of all these 16 players we have. It’s just sad that this is the final game of Jayjay,” Jarin said. “How I wish, sabi nga nila, that we could’ve been together a little longer.” 

“But we made progress,” the multi-time champion coach said. “For me, even though we finished in the same situation like last year, I really feel that we’re making progress. Hopefully, come next year, we’ll make bigger noise.”

“It’s always been about the journey [and] the journey was great, ‘di ba?” offered Jarin.

“We just have to keep on moving. Continue and hopefully, ma-reach ‘yung (destination ng) journey sooner than later.”

National University finished the season with a 5-9 win-loss record.

 

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