National University head coach Jeff Napa did not dive into the specifics of what he said to his wards in the dugout at halftime but sure it gave the Bulldogs a wakeup call en route to a commanding second half surge against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers.
NU sealed the deal as early as the third quarter after unloading an emphatic 25-9 run for the breakaway victory against UST.
"Ginising ko lang mga players ko coming into the second half," said Napa after the Bulldogs' 82-51 win in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Thursday, April 7.
"Sobrang baba kasi ng aggressiveness namin. Hindi ganoon 'yong how we play e. Siguro malaking factor 'yong nandyan 'yong family ng mga players kaya gustong magpakita agad."
Napa maximized the time he had in the halftime break to address the problems coming both from themselves and the Tigers.
Whatever he said though, Napa jested, will remain in the dugout.
"At least 'yong paglabas namin nang second half, kahit sampung buzzer pa 'yan, kahit ma-technical ako at least ma-address ko 'yong kailangan kong i-address sa kanila," explained the three-time UAAP Juniors' champion coach.
"At least nakita niyo naman 'yong result coming to the end game, naging fully alived talaga sila kaya naging maganda 'yong resulta para sa amin."
Veteran Bulldog Shaun Ildefonso echoed Napa's sentiments and expressed disappointment in their lapses in the first half as NU led by four points only, 35-31.
Ildefonso was one of the key cogs in the Bulldogs' rally as he poured all his 10 points in the third period.
NU never looked back as it clamped down on defense to hold off UST scoreless with less than five minutes in the same quarter.
Ildefonso changed his tune and said he was glad that halftime talk materialized in favor of the Bulldogs.
"Sobrang lamya namin but hindi kami ganoon e," said the son of PBA legend Danny Ildefonso. "But coming into the halftime iniisip lang namin na nasabi na lahat ni coach, we need to act up upon it, correct namin mga mistakes namin, and good thing coming into the second half, we played good basketball.
"Defense was there, offense either, executing, we were giving extra passes. Tuloy-tuloy na 'yong energy from there. Sa lahat ng pinasok ni coach, walang masamang pasok, lahat confident talaga," added the 24-year-old Ildefonso. ###