Alolino, Rosario rise for Bulldogs
Two revelations this season turned out as champions.
Overshadowed by a do-it-all star in past seasons, Gelo Alolino and Troy Rosario finally grabbed the limelight in helping power the National University Bulldogs to a historic UAAP men’s basketball championship yesterday.
“It’s a breakout season for Troy,” NU coach Eric Altamirano said of the 6-foot-7 Rosario, who averaged 11.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists to bag this year’s Most Improved Player award.
“And Gelo, I saw how he grew as a player. But all I can say is he’s a very brave player. You can count on him when the stakes are high,” Altamirano said.
Alolino and Rosario, though, downplayed their starring roles after the departure of their old leader and hero Ray Parks. The crown, they stressed, belonged to them as much as anyone on the NU lineup.
“We did everything to win,” said Alolino, the fourth-year guard who averaged 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in the title series.
Rosario, the hero in the Bulldogs’ 62-47 Game 2 win that leveled the series, also gave credit to the support of the entire squad.
“My teammates trusted me, so I just returned their trust,” said Rosario.
Parks, who this time just cheered his teammates from the gallery, had nothing but praises for Alolino and Rosario.
“Gelo led them and Troy, his maturity really showed this year,” said Parks, a two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player.
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