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    Tiu expects Blazers to shake off jitters, avoid cramps as they try to force decider

    Dec 5, 2022
    Coach Charles Tiu and the Blazers hope to score an equalizer next week.

    COACH Charles Tiu was frustrated as troubles piled up for College of St. Benilde in the crucial moments of the opening game of the NCAA Season 98 basketball finals against Letran.

    Out of sorts in some plays in the school's first finals appearance in 20 years, the Blazers' problems got worse with several players suffering from cramps.

    See Letran Knights on cusp of NCAA three-peat after beating St. Benilde

    "I'm hoping maybe next game, they can calm down a bit more. Kaya sila nagka-cramps eh kasi masyadong gigil yung adrenaline," said Tiu.

    "In big moments and big games, it happens. When you're more tense, your whole body shuts down. You've seen it happen in the past. I just hope they do a better job in the future handling that. It's really on them to take care of their bodies."

    "We just try to encourage them that we can compete with this Letran team even though they beat us three times. The good thing is it's a series and not a one-game thing."

    Brent Paraiso Letran vs Benilde NCAA Finals


    Six St. benilde players including Will Gozum, Miggy Corteza and JC Cullar suffered cramps in the second half as Tiu had to scrape the bottom of his roster to keep in step with Letran.

    "We felt we were really in the game, we felt we were making a run, we had the lead and then everybody cramps up," he said on the heels of the Blazers' 81-75 Game One loss on Sunday.

    "It's tough to win games without your key players."


      Still, Tiu praised his team for doing fine against the Knights, who are seeking a third straight title.

      "They're the defending champions for a reason so I don't know why everybody, even coach Bonnie [Tan] said that we were favored, and no way we're favored," he said. "You can see they have more experience than us, they were ready for this moment while my guys are kind of panicking and getting a bit out of focus in the big moment. It's something you can't teach and it's something you have to learn by experience."

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      Coach Charles Tiu and the Blazers hope to score an equalizer next week.
      PHOTO: AP
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