Vigil, Growling Tigers not waving white flag yet
University of Santo Tomas may have plummeted to the bottom of the standings Saturday, but captain Louie Vigil and the rest of the Growling Tigers believe the season is still not lost.
After staggering to their fifth straight loss and a 2-6 record that put them among the league’s worst, the Tigers are far from waving the white flag.
“Technically, may chance pa. Magtatatalo lang din yung ibang teams. Magkaroon lang kami ng confidence, magkaroon lang kami ng winning streak, makakabalik din kami, pero yung nilalaro namin ngayon, feeling ko kulang pa talaga e. Sana ma-resolve namin hanggat hindi pa huli ang lahat,” Vigil told reporters after UST’s loss to University of the East, 71-61.
The door is closing on UST with each loss and it gets tougher from here.
The Tigers are in a must-win situation from this point on if they want to make a Final Four push and their next three games could be the hardest among every other team in the league.
Second-running Far Eastern University is next on Wednesday, No. 3 National University follows three days after before the undefeated La Salle on Oct. 23. The Green Archers blew out the Tigers, 100-62, in the first round.
Yet, Vigil and company expect UST to keep fighting.
And for the graduating forward, it must start with him as the team’s leader.
“Lagi ko silang mini-motivate kahit galing kami sa ilang beses na talo. I’m still practicing hard with them, wala pa ring nagbago. Everyday is still a blessing for me,” he said after scoring 21 points and committing 10 turnovers.
Vigil said that UST just couldn’t translate what they do in practice into their performances during the games.
“Lagi kong pinapa-realize sa kanila na obstacle lang ‘to. Magtrabaho lang tayo nang magtrabaho. Mas maganda nga pina-practice namin ngayon, ewan ko lang anong nangyari sa game.”
The Tigers were doomed by another erratic showing, this time turning the ball over 32 times, 23 of those just in the first half alone.
“Siguro this Wednesday, ‘di naman sana malasin and makakuha na ulit kami ng panalo para ma-boost na ulit yung morale and confidence ng kasama ko.”
As it stands, The Tigers’ chances of making the semifinals are bleak. But as long as the door hasn’t completely shut, Vigil is not going to give up.
“Iniisip ko pa rin na kaya naming makapasok sa Final Four ngayon. As a captain ball, dapat, sinasabi ko sa kanila, ako yung huling susuko,” he said. “Every time na magkikita kami, yun pa rin sinasabi ko sa kanila, na wag mawalan ng pag-asa. Kaya pa rin kahit nasa bottom kami and sana mag-respond na yung mga kasama ko. And ako rin, sana ma-correct yung mga error ko.”
“Target pa rin namin Final Four. Matagal pa yung second round so tiyatiyagain pa namin,” said second-year guard Marvin Lee.