UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas may have a winning record in Season 77 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament, but Karim Abdul thinks the Tigers are not yet playing to their true potential.
There were no smiles on the faces of the Tigers after they barely eased past the Adamson Falcons on Saturday, 50-49, thanks to a game-saving free throw by Kent Lao.
Abdul was unable to hide his disappointment after the low-scoring game.
“I think it’s just lack of focus, that’s all,” Abdul said when asked by mediamen what is lacking in the Tigers' game following the close win over Adamson.
UST (2-1) is playing its first season without former leader and now pro Jeric Teng, but Abdul said the Tigers can remain a contender this year if they get their act together soon.
Abdul is the leading scorer with 11.7 points per game, just a shade above Kevin Ferrer, in a UST team that is considered the worst in the league offensively after averaging just 53 points in its first three games.
Abdul said defense was UST's saving grace against the Falcons.
“We had bad defense (in the first three quarters), that’s why in the fourth, we were able to set up our defense and just come back in the game. That’s what really helped us in the fourth,” Abdul said.
After an inconsistent start to Season 77, Abdul remains optimistic about the chances of UST after coming away with two straight runner-up finishes the last two years.
“I think we have the potential. We have everything to be the top team. I guess, we just have to focus more,” Abdul said.