Coach Bong dela Cruz's 'statement shirt' rues Tigers' lack of heart in loss to Ateneo
UST coach Bong dela Cruz on loss to Ateneo: 'Nawala 'yung heart.' Jaime Campos

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Bong Dela Cruz wore a 'No Heart, No Chance' shirt on his way out of the dugout, with the “Heart” crossed out with tape.

Talk about a statement shirt.

That pretty much summed up his feelings about the UST Tigers' play in a game against Ateneo on Wednesday, which saw the erstwhile UAAP co-leaders crash to to a 74-80 defeat.

“Nawala ‘yung heart. Kaya tinakpan namin ‘to,” said Dela Cruz. “Pero magbo-bounce back kami.”

[See Arvin Tolentino shakes off sophomore jinx, leads Ateneo past UST]

UST’s ability to come back from big leads had been the hallmark of the Tigers’ campaign this season. It looked as if the Tigers were ready to mount another fightback when they cut a 17-point deficit to just three, 53-50.

But UST couldn’t complete the comeback this time, as Ateneo answered with a 7-2 run for a 60-52 lead at the end of the third before the lead swelled to 65-52 in the fourth.

“Nung humabol kami, naka-shoot na sila, parang bumigay na. Pero ganyan talaga ang basketball. Nakapag-prepare sila ng mas maganda. Kailangan naming malaman kung ano ‘yung adjustment namin,” said Dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz is confident UST can regroup in time for a game University of the Philippines on Sunday.

“We are okay. Second loss namin ‘to. Matagal pa naman ‘yung tournament. Bounce back kami sa UP,” said Dela Cruz.

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