UP's Bajar out to instill winning tradition, professionalism

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 05, 2015 06:21 PM
UP's Bajar out to instill winning tradition, professionalism
DRESSING FOR THE OCCASION. UP is looking forward to a winning tradition and professionalism.

For the first time since 2011, University of the Philippines claimed a season-opening victory.

Big man Gelo Vito drilled three triples in an 11-2 run in the final frame that proved to be the difference in the Fighting Maroons’ 62-55 triumph over the University of the East to start the UAAP 78 Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Asked what made this first game the most successful in their recent history, coach Rensy Bajar’s explanation was simple. “Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila they must believe they can win and they are winners,” he said.

Indeed, the Diliman-based squad looked determined from the get-go. However, that did not translate into a fluid game as both teams struggled to find any sort of rhythm in the earlygoing.

Still, Bajar kept believing in his boys and Vito finally repaid his trust via his late outburst. Talking about where his big man’s long-range bombs came from, the former Shell and Alaska veteran said, “Bini-build ko rito sa UP yung ‘Never say die.’”

While such attitude is attributed to a Ginebra team he never played for, there looks to be something that Bajar is taking from his coaches during his playing days. The entire Fighting Maroon coaching staff wore white longsleeves accentuated by maroon neckties for the first game of the season.

Asked if he got the inspiration from former mentor Tim Cone who always has his staff on a semi-formal dress code, Bajar said, “Hindi naman. Trabaho lang. I just want to bring professionalism sa trabaho..”

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