Immediately after a disheartening loss to the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday night, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons received a tongue-lashing, with second-year head coach Bo Perasol’s emphatic voice filling UP’s locker room, his voice echoing the hallways of the Filoil Flying V Centre.
As members of the team one by one exited the dugout with their heads dropped, a composed Perasol still faced the members of the media and shared his message of accountability and responsibility, one he made sure to get across his players.
“My message actually is, nakakapagod kasi yung when you lose and then you don’t get accountability. I wanted them to feel that when you lose a game, you have to be accountable about it,” asserted the fiery yet soft-spoken tactician.
“You have to own up to the chances that are being given to you. That’s the point of the character-building that I wanted to share with my players.
“It’s not about the wins or the losses because wins and losses are going to come. But the character-building that I want to share with my players are going to be lifelong. If you fail, you cannot stop, but you have to own up to it. You cannot just say na I failed, okay, but it doesn’t matter. Of course, it matters to the whole team, it matters to the community, it matters to your coaches,” Perasol added.
“So for those who are being given much, much is expected.”
Fresh from a blowout against the De La Salle University Green Archers last Sunday, Perasol wanted his players to hold themselves accountable and to bounce back in this game to put themselves in a better position for the fourth position. However, UP struggled.
The Fighting Maroons’ starters combined for just 17 points, while the team just dished out 12 assists in the contest.
In their past games, they have been calling for their bench to step up, but this match saw a complete reversal. Coming off the bench, rookie Juan Gomez De Liaño stepped up like a veteran with 22 points on nine-of-fifteen shooting when starters Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo struggled to produce for UP.
“Juan’s performance is one thing that we really needed. But then again, what happened was the performance of Paul [Desiderio] and Jun [Manzo] was just given back to Juan [Gomez De Liaño],” Perasol added, “Ang nangyari, sila naman ang nagkulang. Just imagine if I can get productions from four or three of them. We could have been better.”
The Fighting Maroons have yet to play a game where both the starters and the bench complement each other since their win against La Salle last September 23.
But in the end, no matter how harsh their post-game was, Perasol assured that he will always have his players’ backs.
“I told them that I’m not going to give up on them, so let’s just keep on moving. We have so much work to do in those four games.”
With a tough schedule ahead, the Fighting Maroons must heed Perasol’s call to hold themselves accountable for bad games and hold themselves responsible for the team, plus the hopeful UP community.