UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Pido Jarencio admitted the Tigers were out of focus in Game Two of the UAAP men's basketball Finals as they fell to a hard-charging De La Salle squad on Saturday.
“May mga dapat kaming gawin na hindi namin nagawa,” Jarencio said after his team bowed to the Green Archers, 77-70, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, allowing the Taft-based school to force a deciding match for the championship next week.
“Ini-expect ko talaga na malakas ang dating ng kabila (La Salle) kaya lang na-out of focus kami,” he added.
Jarencio said the team may have been affected by the unusual merriness following UST’s 73-72 Game One victory against the Archers last Wednesday.
A day before Game Two, Jarencio said there was a festive atmosphere in practice which, in hindsight, may have affected the team’s play.
“Maraming nagdala ng pagkain. Hindi ganun ang atmosphere nung last four games,” said the UST mentor.
Jarencio said even the “little things” and pre-game rituals were not followed to the letter. The UST coach also noted the team came late for the game due to heavy traffic on its way to the Big Dome.
“Dapat mga 1:30 nandito na kami. Umalis kami ng UST 12:30, alas-dos, nasa trapik pa kami.”
“’Yung mga ritual namin na every game, nag-ro-rosary kami. Eh naputol ang rosary kasi wala na talagang oras.
“Dapat pala maraming dasal para maraming awa,” said Jarencio.
The loss of focus translated to a poor start for UST, which trailed, 12-21, at the end of the first quarter.
“Hindi namin ma-stop ’yung bigs. Masama ang start namin. Masyadong maaga si Karim na dalawang fouls, nagka-windang windang na uli kaagad,” Jarencio said.
But the UST coach is optimistic about the Tigers chances in Game Three to be played October 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Mindset na lang ang importante dito. Lahat naituro ko na, medyo consistency na lang talaga,” said Jarencio.