Quantcast
Latest Stories

One Game At A Time

Can’t win without a program

By

THE IRONY of the second game of the final classification day of the UAAP basketball tournament is that last year’s finalists find themselves battling for survival.

Ateneo and University of Santo Tomas are locked in a winner-take-all showdown where the victor has a chance to face top finisher National U in the first round of the Final Four.

La Salle, which swept the second round, is set for a duel with early pacesetter Far Eastern U in what is to be a best-of-three for a finals slot.

At first glance, it may seem that the two oldest universities in the country sort of slipped this season. It was more of groping for form.

For UST, it had to buck injuries, especially to Jeric Teng, and some close games that could have gone either way. On the other hand, the defending champion Blue Eagles got into a getting-to-know-you season with new mentor Bo Perasol and tried to carry on without key players like Nico Salva and Greg Slaughter.

But the other way to look at it is that somehow, the programs of UST and Ateneo are still viable despite the adversities they faced because they are still contenders. That’s why a program needs to be set in place where recruitment, training and player development are geared towards achieving viable goals.

The turnaround program this season was that of La Salle that had the financial support of Ambassador Danding Cojuangco and a developmental approach to player improvement. The hiring of Jun Limpot and Allan Caidic improved specific areas of the team which in a way are crucial in the frenetic college game.

Limpot clearly helped the post play of Arnold Van Opstal and Norbert Torres.  They now have better low-post moves that allow them to score on the first option or on follow-ups. Caidic’s presence has given the Green Archers a shooting coach and La Salle has definitely improved its confidence to hoist the ball from beyond the arc.

Juno Sauler, the hardworking assistant in the San Miguel group of basketball teams and who was thrust into the La Salle head coaching job a few days before the season opened, was precise when he would repeatedly say that the team’s goal was to improve in each game.

The sweep was a testimony to that steady development and the Green Archers find themselves in a good position to contend for the title.

The final stretch should be interesting, no matter what happens in the Ateneo-UST game.

NU will be tested if it can win the big games in the Final Four when the pressure is really on. For now, the Bulldogs are out of that part of their sports history where they were a perennial also-ran and, true enough, the whipping dog of the rest of the league. Not anymore.

A program also improved NU’s stock and they should be a serious contender in the next couple of years.

Teams that struggled this season like Adamson, University of the Philippines and, to an extent, University of the East will have a lot of soul-searching and drawing-board work to do when the season ends.

UE had some sterling moments this season and could use that to build for the future. Adamson will make a coaching change while UP needs to search for a new way to participate in the basketball tournament.

A program may start and end with the hiring of a coach.  But it has to have a vision and a game plan to execute it as well.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

    Recent Stories:

    Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


    Tags: Basketball , UAAP basketball tournament



    Copyright © 2014, .
    To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
    Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
    c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
    Advertisement

    News

  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace