PBA great Alvin Patrimonio said opening jitters got the better of University of Santo Tomas as the Tigers struggled in the endgame before pulling off a 70-64 win over Adamson Falcons in the first day of UAAP Season 78 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The four-time MVP watched the Tigers from a distance and saw how the team labor from the second quarters onwards before finally getting rid of the Falcons.
Blame it on opening day jitters.
“'Yung first game talaga, mahirap. Kahit ako noong naglalaro (ako), andoon 'yung moment na kailangan mo mag-adjust ka na agad,” said Patrimonio, who serves as basketball skills coach of the team’s big men.
The Tigers were off to a quick start after jumping off to a 22-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
But the Falcons came back in the second frame and held the Tigers to just five points to trim the deficit to 25-28 at the break.
Adamson threatened for the last time at 63-65, before Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag, with some free throw shooting from Louie Vigil, took charge to seal the win for the Espana-based school.
"'Yung quick reaction, strong instinct, lumabas ngayon sa team," stressed the current Star Hotshots team manager. “Mental toughness, tulad ng sinasabi ni coach Bong, how you finish the game ng malakas.”
But Patrimonio believes UST still has a lot of work to do.
“Marami pa,” he said. “There's a lot of things to improve on, like the second team.”
Ferrer and Daquioag, he noted, combined for 52 of the team's total output.
“Most of the scoring came from Kevin and Ed. They scored 52 points, so kailangang humanap ng ways ang team na maka-score whenever wala sila sa loob,” said Patrimonio.