NCAA Coach Jeff Napa Encourages Bulldogs to Aim Higher in Remaining UAAP Matches
MANILA, Philippines—National University has two tasks left in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball elimination round before the Final Four and if coach Jeff Napa has anything to say about it, nothing needs to be changed.
After the Bulldogs’ statement 76-65 win over University of Santo Tomas on Saturday, Napa was asked about what he needs to change in his squad as the playoff looms.
His answer, in pure Napa fashion, started comical.
“Secret,” said Napa in jest.
“But of course, right from the start of the season, what we’ve been doing, we’ll continue that. Every time, I just tell them to raise the bar. If people aren’t satisfied, we don’t care. All people won’t be satisfied that we’re here so that’ll be our motivating factor.”
It seems like sticking to the system and trying to prove the doubters wrong is still a working wonder for the Bulldogs.
For starters, NU shot a blistering 47.1 percent shooting clip to down the Growling Tigers and improve to a 10-2 card.
The Bulldogs’ brand of defense also limited UST to just 10 points in the third frame which started their runaway blitz to the finish line.
Kean Baclaan, who led the team in scoring with 13 points, five assists, two rebounds, a steal and a block, knows what they need to do not only to carry the momentum into the playoffs, but also get the coveted twice-to-beat advantage.
“For me, we just have to play with pride. That’s what we need to do because people are not content with what we’ve reached now so we’ll just show them who really are the NU Bulldogs,” said the spitfire guard.
Up next for NU are the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Wednesday, a team that’s still searching for a Final Four spot of their own.
Napa knows all too well not to undermine the coach Nash Racela-led squad.
“We will shift our focus on Wednesday against Adamson because somehow, Adamson is also a very strong team so we will be ready and prepared against them for us to get our target goal.”