An even keel will decide NCAA title
As San Beda University and Lyceum disposed of their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Final Four rivals on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre, one couldn’t help but think of the intangible factors that would motivate each side when they meet in the finals starting Nov. 6.
For the Lyceum Pirates, the battle cry is clear: Win the title this time around. Last year, the Pirates had an undefeated run to the finals but were swept by the Red Lions. Back then, you could put a finger on probable championship inexperience of the Pirates or the inability to adjust to stop the Lions’ rampage.
One year later, there’s a whole lot more experience for Topex Robinson’s crew. The team is undoubtedly well coached with Robinson doing an excellent job of talking to his players while looking at them straight in the eye, whether it’s after a turnover or an excellent move. College coaching is a teaching opportunity and students must be guided on how to think, whether it’s for a thesis or a sporting event.
For San Beda, the pressure to win again has been switched on and the Red Lions have responded well to the demand. The Red Lions are in their 11th title hunt in 13 years and gunning for their third straight. Boyet Fernandez has also coached superbly, finding ways to keep his team focused on the task at hand.
So what’s going to decide this season’s title?
The team that properly manages the emotions of the players should have the clear edge. There will be a need to maintain an even keel in the heat of battle and the din of a noisy venue. The teams that will think clearly, make the appropriate adjustments and control their passions should have the edge.
Being young and still in the process of mastering their skills, many of the players will be prone to mistakes and judgment lapses.
The coaches will be challenged not just to light a fire in their players but also to fan the flames so that their teams do not implode. The leaders of the teams will also have to do more than just simply yell at their younger teammates and will need to be always supportive. Once the title is won, the winning side can then let it all hang out and celebrate.
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