UST coach Boy Sablan laments Tigers defense in shambles late in loss to Ateneo
Boy Sablan has William Afoakwah of Ghana as reinforcement after the exit of Tigers import Karim Abdul. Jerome Ascano

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Boy Sablan praised the Tigers despite the opening-day loss, but rued the lack of effort on offense in the final period against the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

In a matchup between teams that had major roster losses after last season and now led by former role players, Thirdy Ravena and Aaron Black sparked a decisive 14-2 run to start the final period for the Blue Eagles.

[See Thirdy Ravena, Aaron Black form deadly one-two punch for Ateneo in win over UST Tigers]

“Na-matanda nung three minutes ng fourth quarter. Nag-relax eh. Nakita niyo naman, tinamad na dumepensa. Kumonekta sila sa three-points dahil hindi nag-close out. Dun na nag-spurt. Medyo nag-relax sa depensa,” said Sablan.

Louie Vigil led the way for UST while Jan Macasaet also showed promise for the Tigers, who put up a gritty stand despite losing star players Kevin Ferrer and Karim Abdul from last season.

“Puro bangko ’yun (from last year), what do you expect,” said Sablan. “Practically, kalahati sa 12 na ginamit ko, bench players. Halos ngayon lang sila nagkaroon ng playing time at hindi naman sila regular na ginamit last year para sabihin mong beterano.

“And yet, kahit papaano, nakita niyo naman ’yung improvement. Iba na ’yung confidence nila,” he added.

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