LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo said the Green Archers are feeling the pressure ahead of the Final Four, with all the talk of a sweep adding to the title expectations.
Ayo said responding to the pressure begins at the top and the coaching staff is doing ways to keep the players focused on the ultimate goal of claiming the Season 79 title.
The Green Archers are unbeaten in 10 games, scoring their highest output this season in a win over National University although the margin isn’t as wide as the first-round demolition of lowly University of Sto. Tomas.
“There are players na nakakaramdam na ng pressure,” Ayo admitted.
To help the players deal with the pressure, Ayo said he counsels each of them.
Ayo, the NCAA champion coach who is now favored to add a UAAP title to his resume, also believes going out to unwind is not his style, noting that players should stick to the routine.
“Lumalabas na parang ako pa ’yung nagco-counsel sa kanila. Ang sinasabi ko lang, every time you feel the pressure, just counter it with hardwork and continue doing the routine.
“Usually, kapag may pressure, to release it, gigimik ka. Kami hindi. The more that we need to stick to our routine — go to classes, rest, east the right food, go to the gym. Although, we allow them to go out, go out with their families and their girlfriends,” said Ayo.
Ayo also said guarding against complacency also starts with the coaching staff as the Green Archers seek to further improve and win more games with their mighty lineup led by Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng.
“Kung maganda ’yung approach, maganda ’yung practice plan, maganda ’yung game plan, hindi magma-matter ’yung complacency. Magdedepende ’yan kung paano mo i-se-set ’ yung utak mo. ’Yung mga ’yan, nakakaamoy na if you became complacent, walang ugali ang coaching staff na ganun,” said Ayo.
“You can’t cling to this premature success,” he said.