University of Sto. Tomas just could not get going in its match-up opposite Ateneo de Manila University in the second round of the UAAP 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Of course, the Blue Eagles went out of their way to make life difficult for the Growling Tigers who boast of the best offense in all of the league.
"All I can say is thank God for our defense," head coach Tab Baldwin said. "That continues to be something to be difficult for our opposition."
The defending champions’ disciplined defense forced their opponents into missing 48 of their 63 shots from the field.
In particular, they forced Soulemane Chabi Yo and Rhenz Abando into season-worst showings as the former finished with six points on 2-of-11 shooting and the latter ended with seven markers on 2-of-9 shooting.
In the end, UST only scored 52 points after averaging 81 markers through seven games in the first round.
Still, Coach Tab made it clear that all that was easier said than done. As he put it, "At any rate, a very, very tough contest from UST. They really make your life miserable when you come out to play."
What is certain is that Baldwin expect nothing less than that kind of defensive effort for his boys. "I trust that they give everything they have to our schemes. It isn't always pretty, it isn't always perfect, but I've never been against winning ugly," he said.
He then continued, "We want to win and when you put your heart and soul particularly at the defensive end, we can do that."
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