An 80-44 loss by the University of the Philippines to National University, its sixth straight loss in as many games, does not look inspiring at first glance, but how they played the match is something to carry over to the next matches to come.
For coach Emman Papa, the Lady Maroons should build on the positives from the loss, especially the three-point shooting.
“Siguro we have to focus more on paano kami nakakatira ng ganon. I think they realized their capability. Na kaya nila magwork,” Papa said.
The Lady Maroons were a combined 2-for-38 from beyond the arc in their last two meetings prior to their match against the Lady Bulldogs, but the Diliman side shot relatively better at 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) when pitted against the defending champions.
UP’s defense also had some few positive stretches, like forcing NU to live ball turnovers and unnecessary violations.
Papa hopes the squad continues to maintain such intensity on the defensive end.
“Our game against FEU, very similar to that. So at least na-carry over yung pressure defense. I hope yung positives dito magcarry over into the second round,” he shared.
“Hopefully. Nakikita nila na kaya na nila tumapat. Sa skill kulang kami, pero pagdating sa depensa sabi nga nila pantay-pantay naman.”
Moving into their final eight matches, the Lady Maroons are showcasing progress especially on their execution on offense, and it is now a matter of how to work as a whole to generate even more better shots.
Papa is focused on how to utilize the strengths from what they have seen so far and use them to become an even more competitive group.
They may be at the cellar of the UAAP women’s basketball tournament now, but it is about thinking they can put up a fight.
“We just have to mix and match yung mga strategies na gagawin and yung pagmotivate. During practice and film viewing siguro pagsasamahin namin [what we have learned] in hopes of reminding them that they can,” Papa said.
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