San Beda College found themselves in a 22-point hole on Friday against a team which has seemed to have their number since a season ago.
Falling victim to Arellano University’s 36-14 onslaught to start the game, the Red Lions showed resolved and remained to fight.
Not once panicking, the NCAA’s modern-day dynasty battled back against the very same Chiefs that were the reason they failed to advance into the Final Four of the Filoil preseason for the first time.
Asked how they recovered from a 22-point deficit to eventually score a 15-point win, coach Jamike Jarin told reporters, “’Di ko alam e.”
Turning serious, however, the multi-titled mentor bared that instead of X’s and O’s, their gameplan against the Chiefs revolved around intangibles. “At the start, I talked about trust and heart. That was the gameplan,” he said.
Jarin then waxed philosophical and illustrated just how much the Lions trusted one another. Sharing his pre-game pep talk, he said, “I asked them, ‘If I told you to go on top of the building and I told you to jump, would you jump?’ Everybody said we will jump.”
He then continued, “The reason why is because I will be the first one to jump and I’ll be there to catch them. If I don’t catch them, I already taught them how to fly.”
Without a doubt, their mentor’s speech lit a fire under San Beda who finally exorcised the demons of Jiovani Jalalon and Arellano. As Javee Mocon put it, “Yung gameplan namin today is all about trust and heart so kahit down kami, we don’t care.”
He then continued, “Basta lalaban kami until the end.”
What should worry the rest of the league even more than the massive comeback win is that the Chiefs, who were the fancied favorites in the preseason, gave the Lions all they could handle and still came up short. Even more, Javee Mocon, assumed to be the new main man in Mendiola, only had one point to his name and they still recorded a double-digit margin of victory.
For his part, Mocon said he has no problems whatsoever if he doesn’t even score. “’Di ko na iniisip, I just think about winning the game. Gagawin ko lahat ng possible way na makatulong ako para lang manalo,” he expressed.
Promising the Mendiola faithful to do even better, he continued, “I know I need to step up pa.”
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