LA Salle coach Juno Sauler believes his team still needs more seasoning following the Green Archers’ morale-deflating 79-83 overtime loss to Far Eastern University on Saturday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
“It’s not really a major collapse. We just have to learn how to close it out. We missed shots, they (Tamaraws) made it. That’s basketball,” offered Sauler, whose team dropped to an even 2-2 record following the heartbreaker.
The Archers had control of the game at the Mall of Asia Arena heading into the final two and a half minutes of the fourth period when they enjoyed a 73-60 lead, until the Tamaraws rode on the heroics of Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia, and Mark Belo to forge overtime.
Sauler noted their free throws were not just the glaring weakness the Archers had after the game, as he also pointed to the team’s overall shot selection and defense.
“We just have to keep improving on our free throws, basically in all aspect like field goal percentage, cut down on our turnovers, play better defense as well because we gave up a lot of easy points in transition,” noted the soft-spoken mentor.
“We just have to go back to the drawing board, review, study, and adjust what we need to adjust.”
FEU held a sizeable 17-6 advantage in fastbreak points and a 17-5 edge in turnover points.
La Salle main man Jeron Teng said the monumental collapse should serve as a lesson for the team in future games.
"Siyempre, we were down. That game was supposed to be ours na eh, but that is not the end for us, we just need to bounce back," said Teng, who paced the Green Archers with 25 points and 15 rebounds in a losing cause.