NU head coach Eric Altimirano. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – National University (NU) head coach Eric Altamirano, who was a part of the last University of the Philippines (UP) team to win the UAAP title, commended the Fighting Maroons on Saturday after they finally snapped a 27-game losing streak.
The Maroons beat the Adamson Falcons, 77-64, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena to end a losing streak dating back to 2012, kicking off celebrations that included a bonfire at the Sunken Garden in UP Diliman.
"I'm happy for UP for getting that win," said Altamirano, who was the UAAP Most Valuable Player in 1986, the year that UP last won the men's basketball title.
"It's frustrating to lose that many games consecutively. But NU used to be there, 'di ba?" he noted. "So we feel for them. And I feel for them because I'm from UP, so I'm really happy for that win."
Altamirano also expressed his hopes that the historic win on Saturday will "fire up" not only the UP players but also the UP community.
Altamirano's Bulldogs lost their own game, 62-71, to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws. The normally stingy NU defense gave up 42 points to FEU in just the first two quarters and they trailed by as much as 22 points in the game.
"Hopefully we learned our lesson from this game," said Altamirano. "Hindi kami pwedeng mag-bigay ng 20-point lead, and giving up 42 points in the first half, that's too much."
"We were able to get back our game in the third (quarter), kaya lang too late na. It's hard to come back coming from a big (deficit) eh. So I guess we just have to learn from that moving on to the second round," he added.