MANILA, Philippines – Coach Pido Jarencio admitted on Friday that University of Santo Tomas was nowhere near tiptop shape yet.
When asked at what percent he would put his squad’s progress for the upcoming UAAP, which would starts earlier than usual this year, Jarencio answered, “30 percent,” adding in Filipino, “We are really down.”
What usually starts in the second week of July, the UAAP season 76 opens on June 29 to give way to the hosting of the Fiba Asia Championship in Manila in August.
The Tigers looked out-of-sync anew early on Friday against Lyceum, but made up for it in the clutch and in overtime en route to a 93-86 win.
“It’s not them. It’s us that’s the problem. Our team is still disorganized,” said Jarencio, known for his comic remarks in post-game interviews.
Lack of time together in training this summer has hampered UST, with select Tigers’ finishing their duty with their respective PBA D-League teams.
Kevin Ferrer, who is also an integral part of Blackwater’s run in the D-League, even sat out Friday’s game because of “overfatigue,” Jarencio said.
“The kid’s overfatigued. He’s exhausted that even in Blackwater he was unable to practice,” Jarencio said.
But Jarencio is hopeful that the one month left before UAAP tipoff is enough time to recuperate.
“UAAP is still quite a long way off so perhaps we can still recover. The team will play smoothly,” said Jarencio.