Gerry Abadiano determined to deliver NU Bullpups another NBTC crown
MANILA, Philippines—Gerry Abadiano wasn’t about to let Nazareth School of National University fall out of its repeat hopes.
The Bullpups have been nothing short of spectacular in the 2019 NBTC National Finals but against San Beda, the reigning champions nearly came up short.
Abadiano, with the hopes of winning another NBTC title after a UAAP championship, took his matters in his own hands.
After NU squandered a 26-point lead and get into an 89-89 tie with the Red Cubs, Abadiano took it upon himself to save the Bullpups with a glorious stepback jumper over Zachary Estacio for the 91-89 lead with 2.0 seconds left in the game.
The Bullpups eventually held on for the 91-90 lead and Abadiano said that it’s the desire of winning the double that kept him going.
“I really hope that we can win the championship so we can have two titles in a row,” said Abadiano in Filipino Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I always practice that shot and I always keep thinking that it’s the last shot in a championship game. When I shot it, I just left it to chance that if it doesn’t go in we’ll go to overtime. It went in so I was ecstatic.”
Abadiano and the rest of the Bulldogs, who had won heir first three games with an average margin of 59.7 points, were pushed to unfamiliar territory when the Red Cubs erased their 26-point lead, 61-35, and even took the 85-84 lead after Estacio’s layup with 2:10 remaining.
Estacio could’ve erased the impact of Abdadiano’s jumper had he made his free throws with zero seconds left in the clock after absorbing contact from Terrence Fortea.
As fate had it, Estacio missed the first free throw and the Bullpups set up another finals date with La Salle Green Hills.
Abadiano said last year’s duel with the Greenies are still fresh in his memory but they’d rather focus on what they can execute than what La Salle will do.
“We faced them last year so we kind of know the tendencies of the players and of the team,” said Abadiano who finished with 23 points and four steals against the Red Cubs. “Whatever the outcome is the important thing is we gave it our all.”