FOR Pido Jarencio, the Game One win is reason enough to celebrate with a drink or two. But the charismatic University of Santo Tomas coach made it clear he won’t get carried away.
“Basta ako, iinom lang ako ng masarap na San Miguel Beer, ayos na,” Jarencio said in jest.
The drink is well-deserved.
The Tigers are one win away from the school’s first UAAP seniors basketball crown in seven years, and Jarencio won't be denied some down time, especially with the way Game One ended on Wednesday.
But knowing there’s a lot of work to be done and things could quickly turn around, Jarencio said they will continue to bring the same intensity come Game Two.
“Hindi ko nga akalain na isa na lang ito. Nothing to lose pa rin kami dito sa team. Upset-conscious lang kasi galing kami sa ilalim,” said Jarencio.
“Pati kami na-shock. Panalo pala kami. What a game,” said the outspoken Jarencio.
“Breaks of the game talaga,” said the former Ginebra cager.
The Tigers secured a 73-72 victory in Game One of the best-of-three series on Wednesday when center Karim Abdul saved the day by blocking a lay-up by La Salle point guard LA Revilla in the dying seconds.
“Thankfully sa amin ‘yung breaks of the game. Muntik na talagang manalo ang La Salle,” Jeric Teng said afterwards.
It is for this reason that Jarencio still believes that it will remain a toss-up between the two teams even with a one-game advantage come Game Two on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Match na match talaga. Even talaga. Balanseng balanse. Puwede kaming manalo. Puwede silang manalo,” said Jarencio.
Despite the win, Jarencio still saw some flaws in their game.
The UST coach mentioned the struggles of the second team as Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul, and Teng combined for 56 of the team’s 73 points in the game.
“They (La Salle) had a run pagkatapos namin magpalit ng tao. Kailangan naming ayusin ‘yung second group kasi kailangan nila ma-maintain o mahigitan pa ‘yung effort ng first group,” Jarencio said.
In the meantime, Jarencio has some time to enjoy his beer.