UAAP: Nic Cabanero urges teammates to step up as UST loses again
MANILA, Philippines — Nic Cabanero was fuming, and understandably so after University of Santo Tomas blew a commanding lead en route to its eighth straight loss on Saturday.
Up 47-28 midway through the third quarter, the Growling Tigers faltered when it mattered most after putting up just five points in the payoff period in a heartbreaking 56-55 defeat to a depleted Adamson side which won the game on a three-point play by Cedrick Manzano with 7.1 seconds left.
UST had a couple of chances to salvage the win but JC Garing and Cabanero misfired on their potential game-winners as time ran out.
“That time, I was frustrated with myself. We could have won that game. Six seconds, we were up by two and we still lost?” said Cabanero, who thought that he was fouled on his late attempt, in Filipino. “I’m super sad about what happened. I can’t express what I want to say. All I can say is I need someone to step up from our team.”
Cabanero did everything he could, finishing with 22 points and six rebounds a little over a month after lighting up the Falcons with a career-high 33 points in the season opener won by the Growling Tigers.
“Basically in basketball, there should be an adjustment right away. I’m just doing my part to contribute to the team as a leader and a scorer. I want to help my team. But my coaches know that someone also needs to step up for my team,” Cabanero said. “When I’m having a hard time, I need someone to back me up. You’re not a leader when you don’t have followers.”
UST assistant coach Ronald Magtulis, who spoke on behalf of head coach Bal David, took the blame for the Tigers’ woes.
“We only scored five points (in the fourth) because Adamson was defending Nic with a double team. We’re not clicking as a team,” he said. “Don’t blame our players, we’re taking the blame.”
Magtulis said they will make the most of the Fiba break where they hope to figure it all out.