NATIONAL University (NU), now a seven-peat UAAP women’s basketball champion, is not keen on looking ahead of itself despite a chance to set a record-breaking eighth straight title lurking on the horizon moving forward.
Like how their once invulnerable 108-game win streak crashed to the ground in the middle of UAAP Season 85, the Lady Bulldogs reiterated that they’re not after the records — leaving their fates to the hands of their work, day in and day out.
NU, with a sweep of rival De La Salle in the finals, just clinched its seventh straight title to tie University of the East men’s team that achieved it in the 60s-70s for the longest title streak in UAAP basketball history.
“It’s an honor for us to match that record. But this team, ever since our first game, we never talked about records,” said coach Aris Dimaunahan, who also paid tribute to the management, coaching staff and his kumpadre Pat Aquino that paved the way for NU’s dynasty.
“We will not think about. If it happens next year, we’ll take it in time. But that’s not the main goal. Our goal is to prepare and play the game right way and let the results take care of itself.”
For the first time in their dynasty, NU actually absorbed a lone scar with a 16-1 record this time after a 96-0 record in their first six championships by virtue of a 61-57 overtime loss in the eliminations against no less than De La Salle.
And as much as the Lady Bulldogs wanted to have that record intact as an icing on the cake, achieving the ultimate championship goal was more than enough to make their seven-peat somehow a sweeter feat given the rare challenges they had to endure and overcome.
“Hats off to Coach Cholo Villanueva and De La Salle for bringing out the best in this team.
But then again, the credit goes to all of our girls. From Day 1, we’re committed to the goal of being the champions,” added Mr. Dimaunahan.
“This made us better and stronger individually and as a team. That’s what I’m most proud of.” — John Bryan Ulanday