Filoil Preseason Cup: NU goes 8-0 but coach rues team’s showing
MANILA, Philippines—National University may have completed an elimination round sweep in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup, but coach Jeff Napa wasn’t happy with how they closed out their final game before the playoffs.
After leading by as much as 16 in the second quarter, a “relaxed” Bulldogs team had to edge out Perpetual Help in the final minutes of the ballgame en route to the 87-82 win on Thursday.
“This is not how we wanted this game. We won but we didn’t enjoy the way we performed, it was evident that they relaxed, maybe they knew we were clinched but this is not the message we were trying to build up,” NU head coach Jeff Napa said in the post-game presser.
The Bulldogs, who are already secured for a quarterfinals berth, loosened their grip in the fourth period and the Altas nearly made them pay.
After being down by four, 61-57, at the end of the third, Perpetual Help went on a 21-8 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 78-69 with 5:00 remaining in the game.
NU head coach Jeff Napa and John Lloyd Clemente after sweeping Group A of the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup. They advance to the quarterfinals starting next week.
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, August 17, 2022
But NU came to its senses and slowly wrestled the lead back with John Lloyd Clemente putting the Bulldogs ahead for good, 81-80, with 39 seconds remaining.
The Altas, whose quarterfinals berth is looking bleak with a 2-5 record, were not able to tie or take the lead anymore after NU went six-for-six in the charity stripe.
National University finished the elimination round with an undefeated 8-0 slate.
Clemente finished the game with 21 points for NU. Germy Mahinay and Paul Palacielo contributed 12.
Kim Aurin tallied 23 markers for the Altas while Cyrus Nitura scattered 16.