La Salle Greenies, NU Bullpups hungry for NBTC crown
With the honor of being called the “national champions” on the line, De La Salle-Greenhills and National University are going all out in their trip to the knockout finals of the 11th National Basketball Training Center on Friday.
The Greenies’ Joel Cagulangan and the Bullpups’ Gerry Abadiano are hellbent on leading their teams to the championship in the tournament that featured the country’s top highschool basketball teams.
“Of course, we’re very happy and we’re also really hungry to get that title because this is this is the first time we’ve reached the NBTC finals,” said Cagulangan in Filipino after leading the Greenies to their 81-64 win over Chiang Kai Shek College in the Final 4.
“Whatever happens, whatever situation I’m in, I’m ready to give it my all,” said Abadiano after NU’s 71-47 win over Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.
Both De La Salle-Greenhills and National University are top caliber teams in their respective leagues, but they had vastly different endings to their seasons before the NBTC.
Cagulangan and the Greenies are the reigning NCAA champions while the Bullpups settled for the bridesmaid finish to Ateneo Blue Eaglets, who incidentally were booted out by SHS-Ateneo de Cebu in the Elite 8, in the UAAP juniors.
Abadiano, who is a transferee from Adamson and has yet to play for NU in the UAAP, said he’s excited to help his team in title round.
“I’m really excited because I still have my teammates that will play with me next season in the UAAP,” said Abadiano who had 23 points and five boards against the Magis Eagles. “This tournament will also serve as our preparation heading into next season.
Cagulangan, for his part, said he cant’ wait to add the NBTC title to the Greenies’ haul this season.
“It would be great if we can win the NBTC title while also being the NCAA champion,” said Cagulangan, who finished with 25 points and six assists against the Blue Dragons.