COACH Juno Sauler gave credit to La Salle’s effort in regaining the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup championship, but was quick to stress that luck, more than anything else, played a big part in the team’s success.
The Green Archers came back from an 11-point deficit behind a huge fourth-quarter run to beat the San Beda Red Lions, 71-66, in Sunday’s title game at The Arena in San Juan.
Sauler, however, pointed out the Archers’ performance in the first three quarters was nothing he can be proud of, saying the team was just ‘lucky’ to beat the Lions and win the championship.
“We were lucky to win,” Sauler said. “They (San Beda) just missed shots and we scored on the offensive end. We were just lucky to come out with the win.”
He was nonetheless proud of the way his team outscored the reigning NCAA champion, 23-10, in the final quarter, but emphasized the Archers must play consistent basketball throughout the game.
“They played hard in the fourth but San Beda played very good in the first three quarters. That is something we have to take care of also,” said Sauler.
Consistency is something lacking from La Salle the entire tournament.
En route to the championship, the Archers failed to hold on to a 20-point fourth quarter lead and lost to Perpetual Help. They also lost to Jose Rizal University in the preliminaries in similar fashion.
Despite the championship, Sauler said the Archers still has to learn to play against adversity.
“I was telling the team, we gave up easy baskets in the first half. We were trying to get fouls but we don’t get the calls. We have to play through adversity,” said the champion coach.
And since he felt just lucky about the win, Sauler was quick to play down the championship with nearly a month before the Archers stake their men’s basketball title in Season 77 of the UAAP.
“UAAP nga eh, hindi ako na-satisfy eh,” said Sauler in jest.