UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio took the blame for the Tigers’ 57-61 loss to defending champion Ateneo Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Finals in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“Kasalanan ko lahat 'yun kaya (kami) natalo,” said Jarencio shortly after the game at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Jarencio cited the lack of system as the culprit for the Tigers’ sorry loss. The Espana-based school scored only six points in the entire first quarter while Ateneo poured in 19 as the five-time champions took control of the match early on.
It was the first UAAP meeting between the two Finals protagonists last year that saw Ateneo complete a two-game sweep of UST.
UST fell to a tie with University of the East at 4-3 at the end of its first round campaign in the eliminations.
“Parang wala kaming sistema maglaro eh,” said Jarencio. “Walang positive (na epekto) na natapos itong first round na 4-3 kami.”
The outspoken mentor did not sugar coat his disappointment on how his team fared halfway through Season 76 of the league.
UST won its first two games but after top gunner Jeric Teng got injured during the Tigers’ game against National University, the team went on a roller coaster ride.
“Hindi yun ang ini-expect ko ngayon eh,” said Jarencio.
But it was not only Jarencio who took the blame for the loss as big man Kevin Ferrer did the same.
UST was just trailing 57-59, in the dying seconds when Ferrer misfired an open trey that could have saved the day for the Tigers.
“Ganon talaga sa basketball hero ka kung na-shoot mo, pero kung hindi mo ma-shoot sa iyo ang sisi,” he said.
“Pero nalulungkot pa rin ako sa nangyari.”
But the Tigers are looking forward to the long UAAP break to give way to the country’s hosting of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship to think about their crucial campaign in the second round.
“Gagamitin ko 'yun (long break) para sa players maka-pahinga sila, para sa second round meron pa kami ibuga, kasi ngayon wala kami ibubuga,” said Jarencio.
“Move on na bounce back na lang sa second round,” added Ferrer.