UAAP Finals: DLSU wanted it more, played with heart in second half, says coach

Santino Honasan on Nov 29, 2017 07:59 PM
DLSU wanted it more, played with heart says coach
"Part of wanting it more, I think yung discipline on defense, we didn’t gamble more in the second half, and talagang we played with heart in the second half and the last two minutes of the second quarter."

During the first two quarters of game two the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball finals between De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University, Wednesday at the Big Dome, it looked as though the Blue Eagles were on their way to claim their first UAAP men's basketball title since UAAP Season 75. 

Up by as big as 21 in the first half, everything was falling for Ateneo and everything was going south for the defending champions DLSU. 

Late in the second frame however, a spark went off for the green side, and DLSU began to fight back. 

By the midgame break, Ateneo's 21-point advantage had been trimmed down to just nine points. 

"Actually, that first quarter, medyo gigil yung mga players eh," DLSU assistant coach Miggy Solitaria said during the post-game press conference. "We realized half of the second quarter that we really need to contain them, because almost all of their points are coming from transition,"

Ever since Aldin Ayo took over as DLSU's head coach back in UAAP Season 79, defense has been the calling card of the Green Archers. 

During game one of the UAAP Finals however, league-leading Ateneo managed to find holes in that famed 'mayhem' defense and exploit them en route to a 76-70 win. 

If DLSU wanted to extend the series to a third and deciding game, they had wake up and respond, and so they did. 

After closing the gap with a 27-19 second quarter, DLSU posted a dominant 26-8 third quarter for a 68-59 lead heading into the game's final ten minutes. 

DLSU ultimately held on for a 92-83 game two win to extend the UAAP Finals to a final game on Sunday, December 3. 

"Nakinig naman yung mga players and they really did well in containing [them], lalo na si Matt Nieto and yun, buti na lang it went our way."

Aside from defense, Solitaria credited DLSU's gigantic comeback to simply wanting it more. 

Down big early and with their backs against the wall, DLSU showed championship character to breathe life into their hopes for a UAAP title repeat. 

"Part of wanting it more, I think yung discipline on defense, we didn’t gamble more in the second half, and talagang we played with heart in the second half and the last two minutes of the second quarter."

Sunday, DLSU and Ateneo go head to head one last time this season, with everything on the line. 

 

Latest News