Jarin takes blame for NU’s failed Final Four bid
Jamike Jarin made his way to the back of Smart Araneta Coliseum with his first year as head coach of National University just coming to an end.
The Bulldogs lost, 106-81, to University of the Philippines in their final game in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament and finished as the no. 6 team in the standings.
As Jarin puffed away on his cigarette, he knew whose fault it was why NU isn’t in the semifinals.
“I want to take full responsibility for not barging into the Final Four,” said Jarin Saturday. “People kept saying we were the dark horse, we were almost there, and if you look at it we were one game away from a playoff.”
NU and UP had identical 5-8 records going into Saturday, and the victor would then have the chance to battle for a potential playoff with Far Eastern University for the fourth spot.
Unfortunately for Jarin, it was UP that got the lucky ticket with Paul Desiderio going unconscious for 30 points to lead the Fighting Maroons.
“I’ll be lying if I’m not disappointed, not just me, but also the coaching staff, the entire team,” said Jarin. “But, I’m just proud of all these 16 players we have, it’s just sad that this is the final year of J-Jay [Alejandro] and Matt [Salem].”
“How I’d wish we could’ve been together a little longer.”
Jarin, a multi-title coach in the UAAP juniors division and a one-time NCAA champion with San Beda, hasn’t missed the Final Four in his coaching career and this would be the first time in his professional life that he’ll be on the outside looking in.
Missing out on the Final Four, however, doesn’t bother Jarin that much.
“Actually I never thought of that,” said Jarin. “I just did my job, be a coach for two-and-a-half hours. After that I’ll be a friend, a brother, a father to these young men. But of course every time you lose it hurts.”
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