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“Sana may Final Five” - Jarencio

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Sep 8th 2013

Witticism aside, Jarencio knows that the middling Tigers, who have been Final Four fixtures for two straight seasons, are not yet out of the woods.

Seriously, Pido Jarencio remains optimistic of University of Santo Tomas (UST)’s Final Four chances.

But Jarencio’s other side stretched this a little further on Saturday.

“Sana may Final Five,” he quipped moments after UST dominated University of the Philippines (UP) to go up at solo fourth place with a provisional 7-5 card.

“E kung ganun lang (Final Five), e di sana wala na kaming masyadong problema.”

The reality however says otherwise.

Witticism aside, Jarencio knows that the middling Tigers, who have been Final Four fixtures for two straight seasons, are not yet out of the woods.

“Malayo pa (kami sa Final Four). May dalawang laro pa kami. Marami pang puwedeng mangyari. Malaki rin naman yung bearing ng laro ng mga kadikit namin (sa standings),” the 2006 champion coach stressed.

One game which Jarencio sees to have a direct impact on the Tigers’ Final Four hopes is the Ateneo de Manila University-University of the East match today.

Ateneo, for all intents and purposes, has just tied UST at 7-5 after disposing of UE, 77-72.

“Kailangan malaman namin kung paano kami tumapos ng maganda,” Jarencio said, referring to their crucial games against the Eagles and third-running De La Salle University next week.

“Kailangan may diin sa dulo. Gusto kong i-instill sa kanila yung killer instinct. Dapat may finishing kami. Ang problema kasi namin, ‘pag nakalamang tapos nagpalit ng tao, magre-relax. ‘Pag nahabol at nalamangan, matataranta tapos hirap na bumawi.”

Ranged against the winless Maroons, the Tigers displayed their endgame poise and variety of weapons led by Aljon Mariano, Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul, and comebacking captain Jeric Teng.

However despite whipping UP to the ground, 63-39, the Tigers had a tentative start. Part of this can be attributed to the re-entry of Teng into the system, Jarencio said.

“Mahirap din itodo agad. Kasi ‘pagbalik ni Jeric siyempre in-adjust ulit namin (yung system). Hindi naman namin pwedeng biglain kasi baka makasama pa sa kanya (Jeric),” he said. “Ang mahalaga rito nakalaro na siya ng mahaba-haba. Sana makuha na niya yung timing niya.”

Teng, who played for 27minutes, finished with nine points, four rebounds, and two assists.

Jarencio again praised Abdul, who wound up with just seven points but registered 21 big rebounds and four blocks.

“MVP game ‘di ba? Halata ba na pinu-push ko (for the MVP award),” he said with a laugh. “Para maiba naman.

“Nakakasawa na e. Puro na lang siya, Parks and Wildlife. Sa Aprikano naman tayo ngayon,” Jarencio said with a pun on two-time MVP Ray Parks.

Despite Jarencio’s prodding, Abdul may find it hard to snatch the MVP plum from Parks, who is currently locked in a tight battle with Far Eastern University (FEU)’s Terrence Romeo for the top individual award.

Yet witticism aside, Jarencio is motivated – and dead serious – on making it past the “Final Five.”