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Vigil frustrated over ineligibility as UST left without veteran leader

/ 06:57 PM June 03, 2016
Ineligible UST Growling Tiger Louie Vigil. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Ineligible UST Growling Tiger Louie Vigil. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Louie Vigil braced for the worst when the new UAAP on age limit came out.

Pegged as the go-to guy for UST, everyone expected the former NCAA juniors MVP to take the cudgels for the Growling Tigers this Season 79.

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But the 25-year-old winger was ruled overaged for the upcoming season after the league lowered the age limit from 25 to 24.

READ: No time to relax as ‘strict’ Sablan, Tigers buckle down to work

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“Last month, alam ko na magkakaroon ng ganoon rule so hinanda ko na yung sarili ko sa magiging result,” he
said. “I was upset. Medyo nakaka-frustrate kasi nag-prepare na ako at yung mindset ko, nasa UAAP na.”

It was heartbreaking for Vigil, who, as one of the seniors of the team, tried to keep the squad afloat through the summer, even if the Growling Tigers had to practice without any head coach to listen to.

“Kahit nung wala pang coach, sa practice kaming mga veterans ang nagle-lead. Ready na ako sa kung ano man ang pwede mangyari,” he said.

READ: New UST coach Sablan grapples with ineligibility of Vigil, Sheriff

Vigil even said that he feels he let the whole team down, though things were out of his control.

“Nakakalungkot syempre. Mahirap din kasi iwan yung team. Ang hirap pa para sa amin mag-prepare dahil walang coach. Kaya parang iniwan ko yung team, pero wala akong magagawa kasi yun ang rule eh.”

But life goes on for the Asian Studies senior, who is working to finish his studies first while taking his act to the PBA D-League with Tanduay Rhum Masters.

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“Nagulat lang ako kasi biglaan. Short lang yung time of preparations pero winelcome nila agad ako. Masaya ako kasi at least kahit papaano, nakahanap ako ng lalaruan,” he said.

READ: Sablan: New Tigers will be competitive

Vigil believes that it would take a lot of hardwork from UST to turn heads this season.

“It takes a lot of hardwork from them kasi three months na lang nung dumating si coach Boy (Sablan),” he
said. “Si coach Bong (dela Cruz) nga, five months na nung pumasok sya, pero nandoon naman yung mga core players, pero di oa rin kami nakapasok ng Final Four. Ngayon pa kaya?”

But the 6-foot-3 guard thinks that if the Growling Tigers fully submit to the system of Sablan, anything is possible.

“What else they could do? Trust the coach and the system na lang. Next man up, kung may mawawala sa team, imposible na walang mag-i-step up sa kanila. Hopefully, yung mga role players dati mag-step up this season.”

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TAGS: Growling Tigers, UAAP, UST, veteran
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