UST's Karim Abdul (L) goes to the basket against Adamson's Matthew Aquino (R). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) center Karim Abdul believes the Growling Tigers' ongoing struggles in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament are due to a lack of focus.
The Tigers have a 2-1 record in the men's tournament but both wins have come by the slimmest of margins, and last weekend, they were once again on the brink of defeat against an untested Adamson squad.
"I think it's lack of focus, I think that's all," Abdul said after the Tigers escaped with a 50-49 win over the Soaring Falcons.
"I can't really say what the problem is," he added. "I think we have the potential, we have everything to be a top team. I guess we just have to focus more."
The Tigers were the losing finalists last season, bowing to the De La Salle Green Archers in three hard-fought games.
They are expected to contend again this year despite the loss of main gunner Jeric Teng, but so far, they have not shown the firepower that made them such a dangerous team in seasons past.
Abdul, who has been the rock of the team in the paint since he came into the league, could not give an answer as to why the Tigers lack focus.
"I don't really know. It's individual for each and every one of us," he said.
The center echoed UST coach Bong dela Cruz's refrain of having to work harder in practice.
"We just have to go back to practice and correct our mistakes, and individually (we have to) see what each and every one of us has to do better next game," Abdul said.