Coach laments lack of star power for Tigers

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 08, 2016 08:33 PM
Coach laments lack of star power for Tigers
GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Boy Sablan said his players are still having a hard time adjusting to greater responsibilities.

With the University of the East notching back-to-back wins and the University of the Philippines triumphing in “The Battle of Katipunan,” the University of Sto. Tomas now find themselves in shared possession of last-place.

With four losses in a row, however, the Growling Tigers are now the team experiencing the greatest of struggles in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Asked about what has befallen the runners-up from a year ago, coach Boy Sablan had no answer. As he put it, “Hindi ko na alam. Nag-prepare naman kami, ginagawa lahat sa practice, pero sa game, hindi na magawa.”

UST got crushed by 38 points by De La Salle University in the first round, but in Sablan’s view, their 61-71 loss to the Red Warriors is their worst yet. “Ito na yung pinaka-worst na nangyari,” he expressed.

He then continued, “Nakita na ng mga kalaban namin na wala talaga akong (star) players.”

In the matchup with UE, team captain Louie Vigil scored 21 points, but also turned the ball over 10 times. No one else scored more than 10 points.

Pressed further about his statement, Sablan said, “Lahat ito, puro bench at hindi naglaro ng malaki last year. Now, they’re playing heavy minutes so what do you expect?”

He also added, turning to metaphors, “Minsan wala na akong mabunot, kumukuha na lang ako kung sino ang pwede. Kumbaga, kung wala kang extra na pera, pagkasyahin mo kung anong meron ka.”

Indeed, sophomore Marvin Lee who showed flashes of brilliance last season only had two points in only nine minutes of action. Renzo Subido, who torched UE to the tune of 26 points in the first round, only had three points in only 13 minutes of action.

The first-year mentor of the Tigers then went on to rue their short preparation to the season. “Yung preparation in three months time, ito na nangyari. Sobrang iksi na hindi na namin makuha ang chemistry,” he said.

Sablan re-assured the faithful over at Espana, however, by saying, “Pero kahit ganun pa man, yung pride at puso natin sa UST, ilalaban natin yun.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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