UST coach Bong Dela Cruz apologizes for failing to steer Tigers in UAAP Final Four
UST coach Bong Dela Cruz says the Tigers' failure to make the UAAP Final Four this season is on him. Jaime Campos

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Bong Dela Cruz is leaving his fate to management after the team failed to make the UAAP Final Four right in his rookie season.

Dela Cruz took the blame for the Tigers’dismal showing in Season 77 after finishing with a 5-9 (win-loss) record, even though the Espana-based team still boasts of a solid core revolving around Karim Abdul, Kevin Ferrer, and Aljon Mariano – all of whom were part of the Tigers squad that played in the Finals the previous two seasons.

“I failed,” said Dela Cruz after UST lost to University of the East on its final game of the season Tuesday. “’Yung lahat ng blame, ina-ako ko lahat. ‘Yun lang. Sa akin nagkaroon ng problema. Hindi kami nanalo.”

“Sorry, hindi ko nadala ‘yung team sa Final Four,” said Dela Cruz.

The rookie coach has been under fire the whole season after the Tigers’ performance dropped since replacing Pido Jarencio, architect of UST’s champion team in 2006 before leaving his alma mater last year to take on the coaching job of Globalport in the PBA.

UST fans expressed their disappointment on social media to the point that a few made a “Replace Bong Dela Cruz NOW” Facebook page that has gained about a thousand likes during the season in which the Tigers finished a far sixth.

Dela Cruz understands the comments of UST fans.

“Siyempre, maraming comments dahil talo eh. Ganun naman talaga ‘yun. ‘Yung lahat ng nag-cocomment, tama sila,” he said.

Dela Cruz said he is ready for any decision to be made by management after UST was eliminated.

The UST head coach said he still has a one-year contract with the team.

“Ready naman ako kung ano ‘yung desisyon ng management. Talo eh. Hintayin ko na lang ‘yung desisyon nila,” said Dela Cruz.

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