UAAP: Spa and buffet lead to relaxed basketball from Growling Tigers
Philip Matel on Oct 06, 2018 04:00 PM
A relaxing day away from basketball led to a happy ending for the UST Growling Tigers.
The UST Growling Tigers can thank a day away from basketball for playing one for their finest games this UAAP season.
As the 19-time UAAP champions' current squad consist a young core, with six rookies at the helm, their tendency is to break down if a fiery coach like Aldin Ayo puts pressure on them.
On the day following their devastating 27-point loss against the De La Salle Green Archers at the Mall of Asia Arena, the mentor told his guys to relax and forget hoops for a while, with the dividends clearly showing in UST's win over the UE Red Warriors.
"Ang ginawa namin, wala munang basketball. They went to a spa, nag-buffet. After classes, nag-relax ‘yung mga bata. Walang ginawa. They detached themselves from basketball," Ayo said of the move.
He then reduced the usual practice time from four to five hours down to merely an hour, with the rest of the time devoted to reviewing film.
That, Ayo said, relieved his players of stress and rejuvenated them for Saturday's game. His players then repaid him by raining 16 three-pointers, five more than their two-point conversions.
Rookie of the Year candidate CJ Cansino also tallied a huge double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds, undoubtedly one of the best marks by any player this season.
"Na-relax tuloy ‘yung mga bata. I can say that it was effective kasi maganda ‘yung resulta eh. Pero titingnan naming kung ano gagawin namin sa next game namin [vs UP on Wednesday].
Ayo also did his part by not writing marching orders on the whiteboard before the game, "no pointers" as he put it, and noticed that the young Tigers were more relaxed that way.
Even though it worked this time, the former Letran and La Salle coach said that the relaxation approach may not work against every opponent, thus taking it on a case-to-case basis.
"Sabi ni Renzo [Subido], ‘Coach, we overdo it sometimes. Sometimes, sobrang kulang naman. Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Let’s meet halfway, let’s moderate things.’ Every time we moderate things, nagiging balanse eh. So ‘di naman sobra, ‘di naman kulang. Galing kay Renzo ‘yun.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.