Sablan: UST will be one of the top teams next season
University of Santo Tomas stumbled into a tragic 0-7 start in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament, a first time for the storied school since the Final Four era began.
Yet head coach Boy Sablan refuses to dwell on the negativity and instead looked on the brighter things ahead for the once mighty Growling Tigers.
“I’m positive next year these guys will be one of the best teams of the UAAP,” said Sablan Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena after losing 96-91 to University of the East.
“This will be an intact team next year with only Jeepy Faundo leaving. Hopefully these setback will inspire us to improve more.”
But UST’s 0-7 start could’ve been prevented if not for several glaring statistics against the Red Warriors.
The Growling Tigers missed 21 of their 38 free throw attempts and turned the ball over 25 times allowing the Red Warriors to capitalize for 33 easy points off those miscues.
Sablan said those errors would be easily fixed if UST had enough maturity that would complement its fighting spirit.
UST stared at a 15-point margin, 52-37, in the second quarter and it slowly chipped away at the deficit going tit-for-tat with UE up until fourth quarter before Alvin Pasaol landed the haymaker in the with 22 seconds left that put the Red Warriors up 94-91.
“The fighting spirit is there, and we just have to improve on one thing and that is maturity,” said Sablan in Filipino. “I can’t blame my players or I can’t put them in a bad light because they are doing their jobs.”