Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s quest for their fourth straight championship in the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament has not started according to plan.
The retooled Knights squad is now facing a three-game losing streak, and first-year coach Rensy Bajar attributes the losses to inexperience down the stretch.
“Short lang naman for the past three games namin.
“Nandoon yung energy. Nandoon kami almost sa game, yung problema lang down the stretch nagkaka kanya-kanya. Half the team is bago talaga, almost rebuilding kami, seven veteran players nawala,” said Bajar.
Each of the three losses has gone down to the wire for the Knights, with their opposing squads consistently outplaying them in crunch time.
Their first battle was an overtime thriller against Jose Rizal University that saw Letran lose control of the game in the extra quarter, 85-79.
In the second match, Letran lost in the final seconds as John Barba broke away for a fastbreak layup to take the 70-69 lead.
On Sunday, the Knights then found themselves with a three-point lead down the stretch of the fourth quarter before being hit with a 15-2 run in the final four minutes.
In the midst of the heartbreaking losses, Bajar still has faith that his squad can turn their slow start around.
“Hindi naman siguro the time to panic, but this is the time to trust the system, trust one another, tiwala sa mga kakampi, yun yung kailangan namin ipaaddress,” Bajar explained.
The rookie coach also shared that he does not feel too down about his team’s performances despite what their record might say.
“For the past three games positive naman ako sa nangyayari, but still siyempre baon na rin kami.
“Ang maganda lang dito as early as now, nakakakuha na kami ng ganitong klaseng game for improvement. Yun yung kailangan natin tignan bukas sa video, puwede natin dalhin sa susunod na game na para matuto kami sa mga pagkakataon na ‘to,” shared Bajar.
The Knights will have the opportunity to grab their first win in their next fight against San Beda University on Friday at the Filoil Ecooil Centre.