UNIVERSITY of Sto. Tomas coach Boy Sablan is hoping for a miracle as the Tigers make a final push for the Final Four in UAAP Season 79.
The Tigers are in joint sixth with a 3-8 (win-loss) card, and not even a sweep of their remaining three games can guarantee a semifinal spot. But Sablan remained defiant.
“Very slim,” said Sablan about their Final Four chances. “Hopefully, baka sakali sa last three games, sabi ko nga sa mga players, wag tayo bumigay. Tignan natin ‘yung last three games, may magawa tayong miracle. Hindi natin alam, magkaroon ng magandang miracle at run ng last three games.”
They next face University of the Philippines before taking on Adamson and Ateneo to round out their elimination schedule.
The Growling Tigers also need to overcome the stigma of a 43-point defeat to La Salle, the most lopsided loss since the current statistics provider of the league was tapped in 2003.
Sablan noted the Tigers simply did not have the personnel to match up with the Archers.
“Una, ulitin ko, lahat ng mga players ng UST, puro bench players. What do you expect? ’Yung star player namin na si Louie Vigil, kailangan kong ibalik kasi walang shu-shoot. Kailangan every game, marami akong magamit na player. Kailangan may mag-step up,” said Sablan.
In an effort to try and pull off an upset, Sablan said he spoke to their guards Renzo Subido, Marvin Lee, and Oliver De Guzman — three point guards who were instrumental in the Tigers’ three wins.
La Salle, however, was simply dominant.
“Kung napansin niyo, dun sa tatlong panalo namin, lahat ng guwardiya, nag-step up. Kahapon kinausap ko sila. Pero hindi sila nag-deliver,” said Sablan.
Despite the tough odds, Sablan said he will continue to motivate the players in their final push.
“Ganun pa rin, more motivation. Kailangan kausapin mo ng kausapin. This is the time na more na mag-usap,” said Sablan.