In the midst of the current UAAP Season 76 Finals between De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas, some of us, Iskolars, are probably asking the question, “When will we get to experience that feeling again?” In one way or another, we are probably envious of the success of the other UAAP schools in the most popular sport here in our country, basketball. Although we have been succeeding in other UAAP events such as the cheerdance competition, we would like to see our team succeed in our nation’s most beloved sport of basketball.
For the past two years, we have not experienced getting a win in the UAAP Basketball tournament and we have seen some spectacular talents walk in and out of our farm system. Players like Mike Silungan and Raoul Soyud are only some of the solid players that have tried to help our basketball program, but have failed. It is just unfortunate that players with that kind of caliber would only experience a handful of wins during their stay in the basketball system of UP. This has been the story of our basketball program for the past few years now and have just ended our recent Season 76 campaign winless. Is this a trend that we should come to expect of our basketball team for the coming years, or will the players from the coming years change that trend and start better days for the basketball program of UP?
Personally, I think that we certainly have the players to compete with the best of the best. But having good players on paper doesn’t necessarily translate to on-court success. During this recently concluded (well, for us, at least) Season 76 UAAP Basketball season, we have seen players with great skill take the court for our school but they did not mesh well with one another. Players like Chris Ball, Kyles Lao and Joseph Marata could certainly compete the best of them but they did not have chemistry. They end up taking shots that are not in the flow of the offense and players just try to do too much which end up hurting the team.
I don’t think that there is a problem with the recruiting of players here in UP, but I do think there is a problem with the coaching staff. Chemistry problems root from problems with the coaching staff. We have solid rookies who can contribute to the program in the years to comes and we even have the reigning Rookie of the Year, Kyles Lao, under our tutelage. Now that we have the players to compete, it is up to the coaching staff (whoever will takeover the coaching duties for next year) to translate that talent on-paper, succeed on the court.
–Bamily S. Cristobal