San Sebastian College coach Topex Robinson claimed that the Stags played their best game Monday against Ateneo.
So for the Stags to claim their first-ever PCCL National Championship and the first for an NCAA team, they have to put even more than their best foot forward in their rubber match against the Blue Eagles Thursday at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Ateneo forced a knockout match at 3:30 p.m. for the title after a 56-51 victory over San Sebastian, a game that coach Norman Black said was won even though the Blue Eagles played below-par.
“We have to better our best game, that’s the bottom line,” said Robinson. “We played our best game based on our statistics and if this is the NCAA, we’re going to win. But we faced Ateneo which is one of the best collegiate teams in the country.”
Robinson hopes that the Stags, led by NCAA Most Valuable Player Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang, will play with the same firepower as in the first game even without Ronald Pascual, who is nursing an ACL injury.
“The pressure is on them but we can’t come out and rely on that. We have a depleted line-up and we have to play with the same defensive intensity last Monday which was the reason why Ateneo didn’t play well in the first game,” Robinson said.
Black hopes that his four-peat UAAP champion Blue Eagles can show up their best game for one final time this year before going to a well-deserved break.
“It’s a little bit late in the season and I would think most of these guys are already thinking of a vacation. Hopefully I can motivate them to play their best game on Thursday. It’s our last game of the year anyway,” Black said.