IT could be the frustration in him that Karim Abdul couldn’t help but vent his disappointment in Tagalog words shortly after University of Santo Tomas find itself in trouble of gaining a possible Final Four spot in Season 77 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Abdul had 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Tigers but his efforts went for naught as they fell to Far Eastern University, 55-66, on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Aside from Louie Vigil, only Abdul scored in double figures for the Tigers, who struggled without star player Kevin Ferrer, out with fractured left hand he suffered in practice during the week.
Asked how he felt about another UST loss, Abdul explained his thoughts in Tagalog, saying the Tigers lacked pride, one of the well-known aspects in their game especially during the time of former head coach Pido Jarencio.
“Ano ang sasabihin ko?,” the Cameroonian said. “Wala tayong pride. ‘Yun lang. Wala tayong pride. Ano ‘yung reason na ‘yun?”
“Malungkot ako, grabe. Kasi hindi ko alam kung ano ‘yung future natin this year. Malungkot ako talaga,” added Abdul, who already made personal comments earlier in the campaign when he ripped off his teammates following a loss only to apologized to them later on.
So frustrated was Abdul that he was even slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul for elbowing Reeve Ugsang in the head
Following the loss, the Tigers are now in a precarious situation with a 4-5 win-loss slate. They are now tied for fifth place with University of the East, but are two games behind fourth-place National University (6-3).
Ferrer’s absence left the Tigers without a scoring option as they trailed by as many as 25 points.
Abdul, however, said Ferrer’s absence is not an excuse for UST to lose.
“I told the guys that, ‘Look, sometimes when I was a bench player, I would pray that the starter would get hurt so that I can prove myself.’ They should do the same thing. When will they get their chance?
“Like I said, wala tayong pride. For me, there is no reason. Kevin’s absence, it’s not a reason for us to lose,” said Abdul.
The Cameroonian said the Tigers’ fortunes this season are not in their hands anymore.
“We now have to count on the other teams,” said Abdul. “Our fortunes are now in the hands of God. It’s not in our hands and that’s what I didn’t want. I wanted for us to determine our destiny,” said Abdul.