IT’S not easy losing a 21-point lead in what could have been the championship clincher of the UAAP Season 80 Finals.
But Ateneo knows all is not lost.
Assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga insisted that as bad as the Game Two meltdown was, there’s no time now for the Blue Eagles to dwell on that 92-83 defeat as they still have another chance to dethrone La Salle Green Archers.
“In life, if you focus on sayang, you might miss the next opportunity that you have. We have another opportunity on Sunday and we’re focusing on that more rather than 'yung missed opportunity namin [last Wednesday]. Sayang talaga pero ganun talaga but we can’t do anything about that right now,” said Arespacochaga.
“We can do something about it on Sunday and we’re gonna do that. We’re gonna watch tape already and then we’re gonna prepare. That’s the way we’re thinking already. We have an opportunity to win the championship, we have to be still excited about that,” he added.
The longtime Ateneo deputy also added that it’s their job to make their players realize that that they’re still in a pretty good position, just a win away from reclaiming the UAAP throne.
“Why feel sorry for us? We have a golden opportunity on Sunday,” Arespacochaga continued.
“We can’t lose our focus, not right now, we’d like to remove our feelings from Wednesday’s game and not feel sorry for ourselves. Series isn’t over, that’s our focus, that’s the way we’re thinking.”
Arespacochaga was quick to tip his hat off to their opponents which made an amazing run starting the end of the first half to turn the game around and live to fight another day.
Learning from their mishaps would be the start for them as he expects the Green Archers to come out swinging on Sunday, the same way they did to finish off the match in Game Two.
“Learn from our mistakes. That’s the most important thing that we always tell our players. In life, you make a mistake. Learn from it so you don’t do it again. And hopefully, it would pay dividends for us in Game 3,” Arespacochaga said.
“We’re looking forward to preparing for Sunday’s game. I’m sure it’s gonna be the same way for La Salle, they’re gonna be preparing well. It’s gonna be very very tough game for sure on Sunday. I don’t see any team backing down, I don’t see any team giving up. It should be an exciting game.”