ARELLANO would rather play in a neutral ground rather than play on its home court as it did Thursday during the NCAA On Tour Season 93.
The school split its matches at the Arellano gym, with the seniors team unfortunately suffering a 65-56 loss against San Sebastian in front of its home fans. The junior squad’s 86-80 beating of the Staglets earlier in the day somewhat made up for the sorry loss of the Chiefs.
Despite playing in front of its supporters, Arellano coach Jerry Codinera said he is not in favor of the latest move by the NCAA, and would prefer playing in a neutral venue.
"Ayoko," said Codinera. "It's better kung sa (neutral) venue para maka-accomodate ng fans. Hindi naka-cheer 'yung mga fans namin dahil sa venue even na nandito kami sa school."
Despite the notion of enjoying homecourt advantage, Codinera admitted playing right on the school grounds also had its disadvantages owing to the pressure of having to look good in front of the school community.
"The pressure is too much. Siyempre, if you are playing sa home court mo, sobra (pressure). Na-feel din ng mga bata," said the Arellano coach.
Codinera also said Arellano was unable to maximize its home court advantage due to the limited number of people who were allowed to enter the venue. Drums were also not used for the match inside the court that seated less than a thousand people.
"Sixth man namin 'yung crowd pero hindi makapag-cheer. Parang ordinary tune-up game 'yun. Sa akin lang naman 'yan. I may be right. I may be wrong," Codinera said.
The sentiment of the former PBA great was also shared by Arellano juniors coach Tylon Darjuan, who stressed playing at home doesn't mean an automatic advantage.
"Mas malaki (pressure) kasi mahirap sa amin. Hindi ko sinasabi na porket homecourt namin, memorize na namin. Basta ako, mas kinakabahan pa ako lalo na kapag natalo pa, mabigat. Natalo ka sa school.”
Following its opening day loss to Mapua, Darjuan emphasized to his team to play well in front of its home crowd days leading up to the San Sebastian match.
"Simula nung natalo kami sa Mapua, sinasabi ko na sa kanila, 'yung Baste, hindi puwedeng ismolin. Una sa lahat, ayoko matalo sa home court," said Darjuan.