Gabby Velasco hopeful St. Benilde can turn fortunes around after long pep talk

It took almost an hour before Coach Gabby Velasco and the rest of his College of Saint Benilde Blazers got out of the dugout after a 68-78 loss to Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals. 

“Marami lang kasing nagsalita. Hindi lang ako. Buong team. Kumbaga peptalk. Syempre dalawang talo na. Kailangan itaas namin ang morale ng team,” Velasco told Fox Sports PH.

And despite their back-to-back losses, he answered with a grin and hope on his face.

“On this game, kahit natalo kami, I’m not really, really happy pero quite happy in the sense na there was big difference from our opening game tsaka today,” he added.

True enough, they started strong in this game as they just rode Mapua’s coattails all game long until a collapse halfway through the final canto did them in. They even had an 18-14 lead by the end of first quarter.

The only missing right now for them is consistency.

“Ang start namin napakaganda. We’re able to contain them. Tapos bago matapos ang first half, lamang lang sila ng lima. Then, sa dulo di na kami nakaahon,” Velasco said.

“Naka-depensa kami nang maganda today, hindi lang namin na-sustain. In general, the game was better played today than our first game,” explained Velasco, referring to a lowly 49-54 loss to San Sebastian last Sunday.

But despite a 0-2 start in the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines, there’s one silver lining for Velasco.

And that was Carlo Young, who delivered 20 big points on 6-of-12 shooting from downtown.

“Si Carlo Young naman talaga is a streaky shooter. He can really shoot basta pag open. That’s why we give him screens, we give him plays,” Velasco said.

And besides Young, there is one simple thing that he hopes that will motivate his boys coming into their big match against the defending champions Letran Knights.

“Ang bottomline, we will play the defending champs. By that itself, motivation na yun. I just hope na na-challenge yung boys ko dun. I just hope we will try out best.” – By John Bryan Ulanday