UAAP Basketball

NU coach takes blame as Lady Bulldogs’ UAAP dynasty ends

Philip Matel

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NU coach takes blame as Lady Bulldogs’ UAAP dynasty ends

TEAM EFFORT. NU coach Aris Dimaunahan gives instructions to the Lady Bulldogs in Game 3 of the UAAP finals.

UAAP SEASON 86 MEDIA TEAM

‘It’s on me,’ says NU coach Aris Dimaunahan after the Lady Bulldogs saw their seven-season reign in the UAAP women’s basketball end against the UST Growling Tigresses

MANILA, Philippines — The NU Lady Bulldogs should not bow their heads in shame after falling short of an eighth straight UAAP women’s basketball championship, said head coach Aris Dimaunahan.

NU, which seemed to have the crown in the bag when it led 67-58 with 4:10 minutes left, was on the wrong end of a massive 13-2 run that propelled the UST Growling Tigresses to their first title since 2006 off a 71-69 escape.

“It’s on me… I could have put them in a better position,” Dimaunahan said after the game on Wednesday, December 6.

“I thought the ladies deserved the win, but, I myself let it slip away… maybe I wasn’t able to put them in the right position to get the championship,” the second-year coach added.

“They should be all proud of their efforts and their contributions to the team the entire year.”

Last season, when the Lady Bulldogs saw their remarkable 108-game win streak snapped, the team shrugged it off and eventually blasted the squad that defeated them, the La Salle Lady Archers, with a sweep of the championship series.

Heading to this year’s finals with a similar 13-1 record, the Lady Bulldogs got stunned in in the finals opener, 76-72, but responded with a season-saving win, 72-70, in Game 2. 

Like Dimaunahan., NU team captain Camille Clarin took responsibility in the crushing defeat.

“I think, regardless of all the misses I had in the beginning, there were certain times where doubt crept in at the end,” an emotional Clarin said. 

“Instead of kind of going against that, I’m just glad other people stepped up [in Game 3].”

Clarin, one of the national team stalwarts for Gilas Pilipinas Women, had a nightmarish outing of 2 points on 0-of-11 field goals.

“Our team is so talented that I wish I made one or two more baskets, but that’s the game, that’s the drop of the ball,” said Clarin. 

“I’m just thankful that my teammates had my back regardless of what happened.” 

Clarin also looked at the bigger picture after what she described as the “toughest” UAAP season yet. The changing of the guard, she said, may just yield more crops for Gilas Women.

“It goes to show that there is show much talent within the Philippines that we don’t need to look outwards,” said Clarin.

“It’s just great to see that all of these talented, really hardworking women’s players are finally getting the recognition, finally getting the fans. It’s been years of progress, but the ceiling, there’s so much more to go.” — Rappler.com

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