Although it was a very positive sign that rookie Juan Gomez de Liaño led the way in scoring with 21 points and six rebounds, UP head coach Bo Perasol hopes his other players will step up for their next game against NU on both ends of the floor.
With the UP Fighting Maroons’ Final Four chances hanging in the balance with their 96-82 loss against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, UP head coach Bo Perasol said that the team must find ways to keep the team’s energy going and stay the course in what could be their most crucial match against the NU Bulldogs on Sunday.
“Tinanong ko nga sa kanila, kailan ba tayo nagkaroon ng playoffs para sa Final Four? Palagay ko ‘di pa for the longest time. What’s in our hands right now is to have a victory against NU,” Perasol said after the game. “It’s not going to help us if we’re going to lose.”
Although it was a very positive sign that rookie Juan Gomez de Liaño led the way in scoring with 21 points and six rebounds, the UP tactician hopes that his other players step up for their next game on both ends of the floor.
While Perasol cited the team’s overall defensive effort against Ateneo, he also praised the effort made by Ateneo’s deep bench, particularly Isaac Go and Gian Mamuyac who were instrumental in the crucial run in the tail end of the game that sealed Ateneo’s 13th victory.
“Kapos talaga. Sayang because, well because that’s a mark of a very good team. Very good, especially in the end. Their composure is there. It’s not just their composure, but the depth, yung depth nila.”
In what was the defining call of the game, officials may have missed an eight-second call on Ateneo and instead called a foul on Maroon Jun Manzo.
From there, Jolo Mendoza was awarded two free throws to break the 79-all deadlock.
Perasol downplayed the missed call, instead requesting the referees to make better judgment in making crucial calls.
“That’s something they decided on, and can’t reverse that, we have to find a way on how we can play through that, but then again I’m hoping the officials will have a better job, because we exert a way to find the win.”
While UP might be missing the Final Four again for the 20th straight time, the former Maroon expressed his elation on his young team’s effort and confidence, which even led to a 12-point lead against the Blue Eagles in the third quarter.
However, with the effort and confidence that comes with young players, the same goes with their immaturity and inexperience in crunch time.
“[The effort] is what I wanted. But I told them, that the lesson there, it’s not enough. We want to get ahead, we need to beat the best teams, and if we beat the best teams, we have to beat them in the end game. And I think that’s where we failed in the end.”
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