Bal David says coaches to blame for UST’s tough first round
University of Santo Tomas (UST) has had the most forgettable first round in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament so far.
It has just one win to show so far in the tournament, a 69-60 victory over Adamson behind Nic Cabanero’s 33-point explosion. And even that win is something that new Tigers coach Bal David attributes to good fortune.
“I think we got lucky against Adamson,” David, the former UST star and a Philippine Basketball Association legend, said. “We weren’t scouted yet.”
That win was followed by six straight losses. At the end of the first round, UST brought up the rear of the eight-team field. It is only one win below Far Eastern University, but the Tamaraws are entering the second round on back-to-back victories that snapped them out of a five-game slide.
It’s hard to imagine how things will get better for UST, but David said whatever struggles the Tigers are going through right now is through no fault of the players.
“We, the coaches, will take the blame,” David said. “Let’s spare the kids.”
“With the experience we had [in the first round], let’s leave the negative things to the coaches. I want the players to come into the second round fresh.”
UST takes on La Salle at 2 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum to kick off the second half of the elimination round and the Tigers are hoping they can find solutions to their scoring problems.
“What happens is when Nic gets checked, we don’t have others stepping up,” David said. “We’ve tried adjustments after adjustments but nothing is working. I am hoping that we can adjust in the second round.”
David admits that joining the team late did not give him ideal preparation time for the season but he remains optimistic of turning things around.
“Imagine, I got the job with one month preparation,” he said. “But we saw a lot of positives and we just have to work together.”
La Salle will be without chief playmaker Evan Nelle for the match. Nelle was suspended for an unsportsmanlike foul he committed in the Green Archers’ 86-84 loss to Adamson last week.
At 4 p.m., Ateneo and Adamson clash as both schools kick off their second round campaigns.