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Sports

St. Joe’s Upset Win Over Temple Inspired By Rocky III

(file photo: St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli) (credit: Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

(file photo: St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli) (credit: Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

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By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Winners of 11 straight games, and ranked #22 in the country, Temple came in Saturday’s game with St. Joseph’s as a solid favorite. But it was the St. Joe’s Hawks that came away with the 82-72 upset win. The motivation came from an assistant coach, a film coordinator, and Philadelphia movie hero, Rocky.

As philahoops.com reported over the weekend (read the story), coach Phil Martelli showed the team a mix of highlights and clips of Rocky III at practice to help inspire the team. “I thought it was brilliant, so Friday that’s how we opened practice. It’s probably about 17 or 18 minutes, and the first ten are Rocky just getting whipped, like we’ve been whipped by Temple. And then the last six or seven are highlights like we’ve had this year. We’ve had spectacular highlights,” Martelli told 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Monday.

Even though he’s the one in charge, Martelli wouldn’t accept credit for the video. “It happened, but it wasn’t my idea,” he said. “It was my assistant coach Dave Duda, and a film coordinator for us Michael Kehoe, had put this together without me knowing it. And in moments of despair on Thursday we were discussing how poorly we had played against Richmond, losing a home game. We were facing this monster in Temple. And they said to me ‘we have something that we think you should show the team.'”

Listen to the entire interview with Phil Martelli:

Martelli liked the video, and didn’t see any harm in giving it a try. “And I thought that other than showing them that [former St. Joe's stars] Delonte West and Jameer Nelson have eligibility left, what in the hell am I going to show them that’s going to work?”

The important change the Hawks needed to make was a mental one. “Unless we change our mindset, the same thing was going to happen Saturday night,” Martelli said.

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