Outside of the 86-115 beatdown they received at the hands of the DLSU Green Archers, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers have kept close with their opponents.
And these valiant outings had made second-year head coach Boy Sablan and the Growling Tigers believe that a win that has eluded them since October 15, 2016 is coming.
“Binibigay ‘yan sa tamang panahon,” Sablan once said.
That’s why their final assignment in the first round against fellow win-less team University of the East Red Warriors was not just about pride. It was the culmination of the program Sablan has been implementing and where it will go come the second round.
Behind Marvin Lee, Jordan Sta. Ana, and Steve Akomo, the Growling Tigers fought back from a lead that went to as high as 15 points, cutting the lead to just a solitary point with 59.6 seconds left. However, once again, the end game rattled the Tigers.
Akomo either blanked his free throws or just threw the ball away in the waning moments of the game. It was not just Akomo however. As a team, UST missed a whopping 21 free throws in the contest while committing 25 turnovers that led to 33 UE points.
Sadly, Saturday was not the right time. The story was still the same. UST lost their 11th straight game, 91-96.
“The story of the game was turnovers and free throws, we missed 21 free throws and we had 25 turnovers,” reflected Sablan, whose record fell to 3-18.
“‘Yun pa rin, from the beginning against UP and yung ibang games pa. Ganun pa rin.”
And again, it was the youth and inexperience of the Growling Tigeres that Sablan cited as the reasons for their setbacks.
“The fighting spirit of the boys are there kaya lang yung improvement na sinasabi lagi is maturity, these are players na ngayon pa lang nagkaroon ng experience maglaro sa UAAP,” shared Sablan.
“Hindi ko puwedeng sisihin yung players ko. Hindi kasi they are doing their job.
“These are players coming from the bench who we are trying to develop para magawa nila yung help na puwede nilang ibigay sa team,” he added.
Surprisingly, Sablan already has his sights set on next season when asked about his assessment of their first round campaign for Season 80.
“I’m positive that next year these guys will be one of the best teams of the UAAP. Si Jeepy [Faundo] lang mawawala, this will be an intact lineup next year,” he remarked.
“Hopefully these setbacks will inspire us to improve more.”
Still, the question remains: Will the right time ever come?
Mark Dyke back in La Salle
Air Padda confident ‘intimidated’ Lady Falcons will bounce back
Short-handed Golden Tigresses stun Lady Falcons
Lady Chiefs seal back-to-back titles
SOURCES: Blue Eaglet Joaqui Manuel commits to La Salle
Orlan Wamar, Judel Fuentes step up for Rod Ebondo-less CEU, drops Wangs-Letran to fifth
Arellano Lady Chiefs core, Shola Alvarez join Tacloban in PVL
Marinerong Pilipino sails to sixth straight win, books playoffs ticket
- DLSU1 day ago
SMART Sports Player of the Week Kim Dy steps up to keep La Salle on top
- Basketball4 days ago
With Chris Ross still hurt, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser steps up
- News3 days ago
Petro Gazz Angels to take flight in PVL
- News5 days ago
Ces Molina steps up as Petron denies Cocolife for first round sweep