During the first three games of Jose Rizal University in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament, the Heavy Bombers were getting blown out of the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Just how bad were the losses? Well, they were only limited to just 48.7 points per game while allowing a whopping 70.3 points.
“Si [Stefan] Steinl umiyak yan sa practice, sa sobrang pressure sa sobrang laki ng binibigay ko na load,” disclosed Gonzalez, who was previously the head coach of the DLSU Green Archers. “I’m trying to set a high standards sa mga bata e.
“Talagang pag nakita kong nagrerelax sila makakarinig sila sakin. Gusto ko palakahin ang foundation ng team ko e,” he continued.
“At the moment, this is a very young team, hindi pa sila capable to decide on their own, kaya sinasabi ko sa kanila, follow the system and yan ang magiging guide niyo.”
In their fourth game, the Heavy Bombers took on the Arellano Chiefs — a team that is a notch higher than them in the scoring department while playing way better defense than them.
But stats are just that, numbers.
It was a tightly-contested game that saw six deadlocks and seven lead changes.
“Lima nalang po kaming natira from last year. I need to step up.
“Sinabihan ko narin sila Ry dela Rosa na tayo na maglead ng team. Kailangan natin manalo, satin mangagaling yung takbo ng team,” said sophomore guard Agem Miranda.
Dela Rosa though went down late after a spraining his right ankle.
Miranda needed to step up. And the former UST Tiger Cub did, mustering all the strength he can to throw a wild triple with just 1.7 left.
“We really struggled in the first three games, but it’s the process na kailangan namin daanan. Sila naman nagpnalo, nagstick lang sila sa isa’t isa,” expressed Gonzalez.
“Depleted line-up ko pero I told them kung sino maglalaro ngayon bigay ninyo lang best niyo.”
And it was an answered prayer for Miranda.
“Sinabi ko naman po sa kanila na pumunta lang sa sistema, nung napunta sa akin yung bola, wala na akong ibang ginawa nun kundi sinabi ko, ‘Lord, sana shoot na ‘to para mabigyan tong panalo ang team namin.'”
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