Thursday, June 28, 2012

San Beda Super 6. Not just a number. by Jutt Sulit.

By Jutt Sulit 
Follow @juttsulit on Twitter

Winning is everything. We hear players throw this around all the time. But whether they mean it or not, winning feels good. It feels really, really good.

This leads us to a common question. What does it take to win in basketball? It’s a fair query. All players (at least, I’d like to assume) have pondered upon what they have to do to win games. That’s the first step – knowing what it takes. However, I think the better question is: what does it take to not lose?

To win basketball games, it has to start from hating to lose. It must feel disgusting to lose. This feeling creates a drive to overcome defeat. It generates an urgency to win. And that’s what we saw from San Beda against Arellano.

After the infamous brawl between the San Sebastian Volleyball Team and the San Beda Basketball Team, more than half of the Red Lions were suspended for the first game of the new season. They ended up having only six players for their NCAA88 opener against the Chiefs. Thus, the group was labeled the “Super Six”.

It was a crazy game. Arellano had a hot start. But in basketball, the start of games seldom defines the outcome. As hard as it is to say, the best example would probably be the Lakers. In fact, they deserve recognition. I believe the Lakers own the NBA record for “Losing the Most Number of Games Despite Leading by Halftime”.

San Beda won over Arellano with neither talent nor skill. Heart did. That’s the only thing that could’ve. When you play with six players, you’re not supposed to win. You’re supposed to be crushed, demolished. But the Super Six found a way. They just would not accept defeat.

Three of the Super Six are fresh from high school. Two are transferees. The other just got called up again from Team B. None of the veterans were on this squad of six. None of their usual go-to guys were there. During the game, one of the six Red Lions even fouled out.

The Chiefs played hard. It was obvious that they wanted to win too. However, six Red Lions simply refused to lose. That made all the difference.

San Beda Head Coach Ronnie Magsanoc said it himself, “It was all heart.”

It all starts in the gym. That’s what they usually say about winning – that it starts in practice. But heart isn’t something you can practice. It’s innate. It’s usually hard to differentiate “wanting to win” from “refusing to lose”. It’s even more difficult to compare the efforts of two teams that played hard. But when a commando unit of six players defeats a more experienced opponent, it becomes a little easier to tell. JS

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