Recovering from a 38-point drubbing is hard and UST coach Boy Sablan went to lengths to make sure that his players were in the right state of mind.
The first-year coach said he talked to each of the Growling Tigers and challenged them to bounce back in their next game against UP.
The result was a solid 83-77 triumph over the Fighting Maroons on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with several UST cagers stepping up on both offense and defense.
“Nag-usap lang talaga kami. Pinag-kakausap ko sila lahat,” he said. “Kailangan yung character lumabas para maka-bounce back kami this game. Dumating sa amin yung sipag na nawala sa amin.”
Louie Vigil recovered from a dud of a performance to deliver 18 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds while Oliver de Guzman and Regie Basibas were the breakout stars with 11 markers apiece against the Diliman side.
“Puro play lang kami,” Sablan said of how he approached their practices before the game. “Di ko muna pinagod. Yung ginawa nila, all the way man to man, nagkaron ng effect sa kanila, not like before, tinamad, last 2 days against UP, di ko sila masyadong pinatakbo, more on mental and gameplan yung ginawa namin.”
His ploy worked wonders as 5 Tigers finished in double figures while 8 players scored at least 5 markers against the Maroons.
And with their record now even at 2-2, Sablan believes he still has aces up his sleeve as the tournament wears on.
“Marami pang puputok diyan at darating,” he said.