UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas head coach Jeffrey Santiago is confident the squad can get back at Ateneo to level the UAAP Season 79 baseball finals.
The UST Golden Sox were outplayed in the series opener before falling to the Blue Eagles, 9-2, last Tuesday.
But Santiago believes the Golden Sox will be able to recover in the best-of-three series, mainly because Ateneo’s ace pitcher Paulo Macasaet hurled seven innings in Game One.
“Kaya yan. Ubos na yung pitchers nila. Yung aking pitcher, mawawala na yung sakit ng braso,” said Santiago, who inserted three UST pitchers in Game One.
The long-time UST coach admitted his boys were under a lot of pressure. After all, it was the Sox’s first finals appearance in six years.
“Pressured talaga ang mga ito dahil first time to play in the championship with the crowd. Yung manalo, yung eagerness nila, ayun yung umawat sa kanila. Kaya dapat relax lang. Normal lang dapat,” he added.
He also noted the team lacked practice for the match, with exams eating up most of the one-week preparation.
“Off ang ating hitting. Of course, tumatama naman. Siguro because of the examination week, medyo malaking epekto sa atin iyon kasi hindi sila nakafocus sa ensayo masyado,” said Santiago.
Even with the Game One loss, Santiago remained positive, even joking that his squad only lost because they were distracted with the cameras in the nationally-televised match.
“May added pressure, bago yung (camera), akala nila shooting,” he said laughing.