NU coach Babes Castillo on Final 4 matchup vs La Salle: 'I like that'
MANILA, Philippines – In the playoffs, teams, as much as possible, try to avoid going up against the number one squad, especially when it is the defending champion.
That is the predicament National University (NU) faces in its Final 4 campaign when it locks horns with top seed De La Salle University (DLSU). But NU Lady Bulldogs head coach Babes Castillo said he "likes" the matchup.
"I like that. Always kasi, you always compete with the best. Doon mo lang makikita kung ano'ng meron ka. That is why in that regard, gusto ko 'yun. I like that," said the first-year tactician.
(I like that. You always want to compete with the best. That is the only time you'll know what you're capable of. That is why in that regard, I like that.)
The Lady Bulldogs were touted to challenge the two-time defending UAAP champions' reign after defeating the Lady Spikers in the first round for an impressive 6-1 record.
But as soon as the second round started, NU entered a downward spiral as it lost 5 straight games, 3 of those against non-Final 4 teams University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University, and the University of the Philippines.
Although the Lady Bulldogs punched their ticket to the Final 4 with a victory over the University of the East last April 8, they ended the elimination round on the wrong foot following a 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20 loss to Far Eastern University on Sunday, April 15.
Still, Castillo believes their string of losses will only mold them heading into their clash against the Lady Spikers, who have played in the UAAP finals for the last 9 seasons.
"Sabi ko nga sa kanila, kung nangyayari ito, kailangan nating pagdaanan iyan para magkaroon naman ng value ang pagkuha natin ng goal. Hindi naman 'yan kaagad-agad," said Castillo.
(I told them, if this is happening, we need to undergo this experience so there would be value in our pursuit of achieving our goal. Achieving a goal is not an immediate task.)
The Final 4 begins on Saturday, April 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com