Eaglets coach Joe Silva: We badly needed that Game 2 loss
Philip Matel on Mar 02, 2018 07:42 PM
Ateneo Blue Eaglets Joe Silva huddled his boys up as they were down by six, and only emphasized one word: composure.
Ateneo Blue Eaglets head coach Joe Silva said this team needed the Game 2 loss against the NU Bulldogs, because the thought of a perfect season had already crept up on their ego.
The now two-time champion added that whether by hook or by crook, the team had always thought of winning the championship, which was their first since Season 77 in 2015.
"Actually, noong Game 2, medyo lumaki yung ulo namin eh. The sweep was in our heads, we didn't play well, buti na lang, we lost. We needed that, not just in basketball but in terms of the character of the boys. At least na-humble ang mga bata," Silva said after the game.
"I told the boys that we never thought of a sweep. We only wanted to do was win a championship. Whether or not swept, whether or not we had to go the hard way, all our main focus is to win a championship."
Even after the loss, the boys from Loyola Heights were more fired up after being humiliated and depriving them of a historical season.
"Mindset namin to this game, even our practice yesterday, our focus in the bus, and in the dugout, we really knew that we wanted it talaga."
NU even showed their championship experience from their seventh straight finals appearance, and led by six midway through the fourth quarter, 54-48.
Silva then huddled his boys up and only emphasized one word: composure.
Since the timeout, the team ventured on a 10-0 blitz that had help them secure the championship, with several big plays courtesy from Finals MVP Kai Sotto and graduating SJ Belangel.
Before Belangel went the line for the two free throws with 9.8 seconds left, he and several of his teammates talked with each other, making the veteran remember what coach Silva had said in the timeout.
'Composure lang talaga palagi. Yun nga sabi ni coach Joe, composure lang. Tapos tiwala lang. Sabi nina Kai, Jason, Joaqui, sabi tapusin na natin. I-shoot mo na ang dalawa, tapos dedepensahan natin para wala na," the floor general Belangel said.
Following a sub-par showing from his 7'1” center in Game 2, Sotto had talked with his mentor and had a heart-to-heart talk that help the Eaglets win their 19th championship, the most in history.
"Sabi naman sa akin, babawi siya. We talked, me, SJ, and Kai. The three of us talked. They said, what ever may happen, we wanted to win this game. We need to win Game 3. They delivered naman."
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