University of the Philippines was on a high after a dramatic 74-73 opening win over University of Santo Tomas after wingman Paul Desiderio hit a dagger of a three-pointer on Sunday.
Come Wednesday, the Fighting Maroons were sent crashing back to reality after Ateneo put on a display for the convincing 92-71 win as the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament continued.
“What happened to us was like a wakeup call. We need to recover quickly,” said Desiderio in Filipino after his team slipped to 1-1. “It was really a struggle, we were scouted very well and almost all of our plays were countered.”
UP head coach Bo Perasol called it a “rude awakening” but it was also something that his Fighting Maroons were eager to move past.
“We had to move on immediately,” said Perasol in Filipino. “There’s really nothing left to do, we lost badly but it happens. We move on to Sunday and hope that we have a better game.”
Against the hot shooting Blue Eagles, the Maroons were dismal on the floor, going 25-of-67 from the field. They also got sorely outrebounded, 51-38.
For Desiderio’s part, he finished with just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting after scoring 17 points against the Growling Tigers.
“I think we were complacent and we weren’t focused because of that,” said Desiderio. “I wasn’t able to adjust, I was too focused on scoring.”
UP has a chance to bounce back on Sunday against University of the East, which has yet to win in two matches so far.
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