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Coach rues Tigers lack of heart vs Eagles

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Stopped on their tracks by a determined Ateneo side, University of Santo Tomas coach Bong dela Cruz let his yellow statement shirt tell the story of the Tigers setback in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball game the other night.

“No Heart, No Chance,” it said. For emphasis, he covered the “heart” part with masking tape.

“Nawala yung heart (We didn’t have the heart in the game),” said dela Cruz, whose wards saw their five-game streak snap and their formal entry into the Final Four stall by that 74-80 loss to the Eagles, their second in 10 outings.

“We’re okay. Second loss namin ito, matagal pa iyung tournament, bounce-back kami against UP, bawi kami (It’s only our second loss and it’s still a long way to go. We’ll bounce back in our next game against UP),” said dela Cruz.

The Tigers trailed by as many as 17 points against the Eagles but managed to close the gap to within three with 3:08 left in the third period. Arvin Tolentino, however, sparked a 7-2 counterattack to end the quarter for a fresh 60-52 lead. Tolentino continued to frustrate UST with his sniping in the fourth, helping AdMU seize a 14-point cushion en route to the vengeful win over the team that humbled the Eagles in the first-round with a come-from-behind 68-58 victory.

“Noong humabol kami, naka-shoot na sila, parang bumigay na. Pero ganyan talaga ang basketball at nakapag-prepare sila nang mas maganda (When we came back and they’re able to make a counter, we somehow gave up. But that’s how basketball plays. They were also better prepared for this game),” said dela Cruz.

Tolentino matched his career-high of 20 points as he led AdMU in scoring.        

ACIRC ARVIN TOLENTINO ATENEO CRUZ FINAL FOUR NAWALA NBSP NO CHANCE NO HEART TOLENTINO UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS
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