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Unang titulo sa UAAP masarap — Sauler

SA UNA niyang taon bilang head coach ng De La Salle University, sinuwerte kaagad si Marco Januz “Juno” Sauler dahil nagkampeon agad ang Green Archers sa UAAP Season 76.

Hindi binigo ni Sauler ang kanyang dating pamantasan nang dinala niya ang kanyang tropa sa makasaysayang 71-69 na panalo sa overtime kalaban ang University of Santo Tomas sa do-or-die na laro para sa titulo ng UAAP noong Sabado sa harap ng mahigit 23,300 na katao sa Mall of Asia Arena sa Pasay.

Si Sauler ay naging unang rookie coach na nagkampeon sa UAAP mula noong huli itong ginawa ni Pido Jarencio ng UST noong 2006.

“Everyone wanted to fight it out. I know the team was down and some players had cramps but they battled to the very end,” wika ni Sauler na assistant coach ng Barangay Ginebra San Miguel ng PBA bago siya kinuha ng La Salle para palitan si Gee Abanilla bago nagsimula ang UAAP season.

“This has been a season of constant improvement and that is what we will focus on next year. It was the players following the system and just being consistent about it.”

Mula sa 3-4 na karta sa pagtatapos ng unang round ng eliminations, biglang humataw ang Archers nang winalis nila ang lahat ng kanilang laro sa second round bago nila itinaob ang Far Eastern University sa Final Four.

Sa Finals ay  natalo ang La Salle sa Game 1 bago nila naipanalo ang huling dalawang laro upang makuha ang kampeonato ng UAAP na huli nilang napanalunan noong 2007.

“We don’t change anything. What’s important was that we knew what we were doing and trying to make it better,” ani Sauler. “More important than winning was improving on a daily basis. We may be champions, but if we don’t do our best, wala rin. It’s a matter of showing your best potential.”

(James Ty III)

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