REST is not in the vocabulary of De La Salle these days.
The Green Archers immediately went back to work 24 hours after clinching a berth in the UAAP men’s basketball Finals as coach Juno Sauler started preparations while waiting for the winner of the University of Santo Tomas-National University semifinal death match.
“We are practicing tomorrow so no break for us,” said Sauler when asked about the benefit of a one-week break the Archers will have prior to the best-of-three title series that starts on October 2 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers earned their first trip to the Finals in five years when they dispatched Far Eastern University, 71-68, in their Final Four encounter.
The last time La Salle made the Finals was in 2008 when it lost to rival Ateneo.
But Sauler said he is not driven by results, stressing he is more focused on having the Archers improve their play than giving La Salle its first championship in six years.
“More important to me is how well we will play in the coming days. The ranking is secondary. I want my players and my team to improve,” said Sauler, a member of the La Salle team that suffered heartbreaking losses to UST in the UAAP Finals during the nineties.
Even with La Salle the first team to book a place in the Finals, Sauler isn’t concerned about the Archers losing focus as he has been emphasizing time and again that the goal is to improve in every game they play.
“That’s what I always tell them. I didn’t even tell them that we need to win this game. We just need to do what we have been doing and just improve, be better in today’s game,” said the soft-spoken mentor.