GROWL. Forgotten UST gave a good scare to playoff hopeful UP.
If not for Paul Desiderio’s heroics, University of Sto. Tomas could have very well off turned off the hype on University of the Philippines last Sunday.
Of course, Desiderio had something to say about that and allowed the Fighting Maroons to come away with a one-point win.
Still, it was an impressive showing for a Tigers squad which many have written off heading into the season.
Having seen it with his own eyes, State U head coach Bo Perasol said that is a big mistake. “That UST team is very tough. Alam kong maraming hindi nagbibigay ng tsansa sa UST, pero playing against them, I definitely know they can give anybody their money’s worth,” he said.
He then continued, “If they’re not going to take UST seriously, they’re going to pay for it.”
Indeed, with team captain Marvin Lee taking charge right from tip-off, UST nearly made to pay a UP side boasting the likes of Desiderio, Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, and Jun Manzo.
Along with Lee who was brilliant all game long and wound up with 20 points, the Tigers also had for themselves an impactful debut coming from Steve Akomo.
The Cameroonian posted a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double and teamed up with Jeepy Faundo, Christian Garcia, and Bong Soriano to form a frontline that gave the Maroons fits. “Masyadong malakas (yung bigs nila). In fact, ang game plan namin was to play the transition game, but we weren’t able to make stops because they were too big for us,” Perasol said.
And so, even though they fell short in pulling off the win, the boys from Espana are feeling good with defying others’ expectations of them. “Baka ‘di talaga para sa amin ang first game, pero para sa amin, magandang experience ang nangyari. Magiging motivation namin ‘to,” he shared.
He then continued, “Sa amin, good game yun. Babalik na lang kami sa practice.”
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