KARIM Abdul was the first person to emerge from the University of Santo Tomas dugout following the Tigers’ sorry loss to Ateneo on Wednesday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Abdul later called out his team as frustration mounted after the loss.
“I don’t know what to say, man,” Abdul told reporters. “Everyday, we are going to say ‘Bawi next game. Bawi next game.’ But everyday, it’s the same mistakes. Whenever we say, 'Bawi next game,' and then we are going to lose, it’s hard.”
His frustration grew after the Tigers failed to protect a slim lead in the fourth quarter with Kiefer Ravena hitting a jumper with 3.7 seconds left that proved to be the marginal basket in Ateneo’s 63-61 win.
Abdul, who finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, was obviously disappointed that teammate Ed Daquioag failed to foul Ravena in the endgame even if the Tigers had two out-of-penalty fouls to give.
“We have two fouls to give. I don’t know his state of mind at that time. He is the one who carries the blame. But it’s not just Daquioag. We are a team,” he said
“We have a lot of veteran players, Jan (Sheriff) and Paolo Pe who are not contributing. All those little things come up to everything. We lost.
“(Renzo) Subido is a rookie point guard. How can a rookie point guard play in the endgame when Jan is playing for three years isn’t there? Paolo Pe is in his fifth year and he cannot play inside.
“Some guys don’t want to take the responsibility. It is really pitiful. We lost because it’s our fault,” said Abdul.
When told about his big man’s frustrations, coach Bong Dela Cruz said it is natural for a person to be frustrated after the game.
“Natural lang ‘yun,” said Dela Cruz. “Galing sa hard game. Nakita naman natin na lumaban ‘yung mga bata. Natural lang ‘yung ganung feelings. Bukas, maaayos din ‘yun.”
“Natural lang ‘yun. Gusto niyang manalo. Kung winner ka, ilalabas mo ‘yung frustration mo. Natural lang ‘yun,” said Dela Cruz.
However, the UST coach admitted his instruction in the endgame was to give up a foul.
“Ang instruction ko kasi is to foul kasi mayroon pa kaming fouls to give. Hindi na-execute eh. Ayun, nakatira si Kiefer,” said Dela Cruz.