AS painful as the defeat was, University of the Philippines coach Rensy Bajar knew it was a timely wake-up call.
The Maroons were sent crashing back to earth by University of Santo Tomas, 59-67, on Sunday afternoon - a reality check for the team and its supporters who had been on cloud nine after a 2-0 start to the UAAP season.
Bajar said the only loss only showed the vastly improved Maroons remain a work in progress, exposing the aspects the team still need to work on if it hopes to be a playoff contender this season.
“Kulang pa. Kumbaga dapat hindi pa rin kami sumusuko. At the same time, kailangan sa depensa, walang pogi pogi. Hindi puwedeng mag-relax. Sinabi ko nga sa kanila, sa depensa, walang papogi," said Bajar.
"Kung gusto niyo magpapogi, mag-artista kayo,” he added.
The Maroons started slowly, going 6-of-26 from the field in the first half. Bajar was also unhappy with a defense that gave up 27 points to Tigers hero Ed Daquioag.
Bajar said it wasn't a case of overconfidence for the Maroons.
“Kumbaga ‘yung overconfidence, hindi puwedeng pumasok sa isipan namin ‘yun dahil alam niyo naman kung saan galing ang UP. Every game is a very important game. Down the stretch lang talaga ‘yung naging problema at nagbigay kami ng 23 points sa second half kay Daquioag,” said Bajar.
“Pagdating namin ng crucial minutes, doon kami bumigay. Kailangan pa namin pag-igihan,” said Bajar.
After their first defeat of Season 78, Bajar said the coaching staff will make sure that they will have the right mindset coming to their next game against Far Eastern University next week.
“Kailangan, number one, maramdaman namin ‘yung sakit. Kailangang maramdaman naman ‘yung pagkatalo. Pero we must move on. We have a 24-hour rule. After that, it’s over. From there, focus na sa next game,” said Bajar.