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Breakthrough win vindicates Lady Maroons

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The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons know they can take down a team on any given day as long as they collectively and efficiently.

They are starting to realize it even more.

The Lady Maroons stunned Adamson University to pick up their first win in UAAP Season 78 women’s basketball action last Sunday, in the process ending a 25-game losing streak dating back to seasons ago.

They led by as much as 15 at one point, and were able to hold off the Lady Falcons.

Emotions ran high after the match. From players celebrating at centercourt to tears falling to the UP Naming Mahal being sung first instead of last, there were no other words to describe the feeling of a breakthrough win.

“Masaya lang, especially sa UP community,” head coach Emman Papa said.

“Nadagdagan na yung urgency nila. Kaya naman dumepensa pero yun lang extra effort. Nagtiis lang sila maski pagod and we had good breaks na rin so ginanahan pa lalo sila.”

Even when UP lost to the University of the East Lady Warriors 51-56 last week, the Diliman side was already showing glimpses of improvement.

They outrebounded UE 54-47 and assisted 11 of their 19 field goal makes. Against Adamson UP assisted 9 of 18.

Papa adds it was only a matter of time they picked up a win, and seeing the Lady Maroons finally break into the win column gives the team even more reasons to keep fighting.

“Matagal na nilang na-realize yun and ngayon na-confirm pa lalo. Now the important thing is to keep them healthy para ready sila anytime,” he said.

Aliermo return sparks UP defense

A big key in UP’s rise in their past two games is the return of Tin Aliermo, who missed the team’s past six outings.

The energetic forward falls under the “hustle” category of basketball “positions” today; her terrific bounce and nose for the 50-50 balls and rebounds has been invaluable for the Lady Maroons.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Breakthrough win vindicates Lady Maroons

Against Adamson she kept fighting for the ball with unmatched effort, and finished with 13 rebounds along with her 6 points.

“Malaking tulong siya dahil yung kakulangan namin sa height nabibigay niya and explosive kasi yung tao. Kahit medyo nahuhuli siya sa rebounds and deflections, kaya niyang abutan,” Papa quipped of his forward.

Aliermo has rebounding splits (offensive rebound rate/defensive rebound rate/total rebound rate) of 8.1/27.5/16.9 (the ideal rebounding splits for a big is 10/20/15), helping the Lady Maroons with her interior presence.

UP held Adamson to only 23 percent from the field and an offensive rating of 52 points per 100 possessions.

Nowhere to go but up

In the remaining games, Papa hopes the team develops even more maturity to avoid collapses.

“We will try to simulate as much as we can sa practice pero now we are complete so that is better,” he said.

The Lady Maroons were barely able to talk after the resounding win over Adamson, but they don’t have to.

There are moments people don’t have to talk about. They just have to feel it.

The Lady Maroons know what they are capable of, and they felt vindicated even more.

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