Vigil has one last chance to redeem himself
Paul Lintag on Sep 04, 2016 10:28 AM
Louie Vigil was an all-around beast for UST during the Final Four of Season 78. He plans to do that all the time for Season 79.
It's safe to say that hosts University of Sto. Tomas has had a roller-coaster buildup for the UAAP Season 79 men's basketball tournament.
With the arrival of a new coach and the recent questions in status of point guard John Sherrif, stability was something the Growling Tigers rarely enjoyed as they prepare to do battle once again almost a year after losing the Season 78 Finals to rival Far Eastern University.
But perhaps the biggest question surrounding UST over the last few months was Louie Vigil's eligibility to play out his final year in the UAAP.
Much like Sherrif, the new King Tiger was ruled ineligible at first thanks to the new UAAP age rule. The former NCAA Juniors' MVP was then reinstated and is now ready to go as the Tigers open their season Sunday.
"Mentally na-apektuhan ako pero ayun, lucky na nag-iba yung rule. I still have a chance to probe myself," Vigil told ABS-CBN Sports.
"My mindset, medyo na-apektuhan kasi matagal ko din pinaghandaan. After last season konting pahinga lang bumalik agad ako sa practice para makapag-prepare ngayon. Nung nalaman ko na nagkaroon ng problem na-frustrate ako pero hindi natapos dun yung training," he added.
Expected to lead a motley crew of Tigers for Season 79, Vigil is on a mission to prove that he and UST are no fluke from last year.
And his preseason dilemma only adds to his long list of motivations.
"Ang hirap din naman kasi iwan ang teammates ko na ganun na lang and syempre I think may gusto pa ako i-prove sa sarili ko," Vigil said.
After losing the Big 3 of Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag, and Karim Abdul from last season, expectations are manageable for UST this year.
But ridiculously low expectations does not mean the Growling Tigers are not going all out. Winning the UAAP title is still the priority for UST with the storyline of redemption still pretty much alive and relevant.
"We have this chance to redeem ourselves again. Kung dumating ma sa point na yun ulit [Finals], I'm confident na alam ko na yung gagawin," Vigil said.
The UST Growling Tigers open their UAAP Season 79 against the reloaded Ateneo Blue Eagles Sunday in the main game at 4:00 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.
LIVE telecast will be on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 and ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166 with free online livestreaming available at sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.
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