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Learning experience for Kobe Paras after facing Ateneo for first time

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Tiebreaker Times Learning experience for Kobe Paras after facing Ateneo for first time Basketball News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Kobe Paras

Kobe Paras cut a disappointed figure after Sunday night’s game.

In what was one of the most hyped matches in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament this year, the Battle of Katipunan between the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and the Ateneo Blue Eagles turned into a masterclass by the latter in basketball supremacy.

“Nothing went wrong. Ateneo played a good game, so we just have to learn from this loss,” said the former La Salle Green Hills Greenie.

“And to be able to defeat a championship team like that, you need to have a perfect game. I think that’s what we have to work on.”

Down by just four points by the break, the Fighting Maroons succumbed to the Blue Eagles’ onslaught in the third period. That then became the point of no return. Things got so bad for State U that their mentor, Bo Perasol, was ejected after he rushed to the court to demonstrate his frustrations to the referees for a non-call.

Tiebreaker Times Learning experience for Kobe Paras after facing Ateneo for first time Basketball News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Kobe Paras

“You know coach Bo’s intention was good,” explained the 22-year old. “You know his emotions just got to him. It happens in the game. I appreciate coach Bo so much for fighting for us. He really cares about his players, and I know naman he didn’t mean any harm to the referee. It was just part of the game. As you guys saw naman in the first half, it was really dikit naman.

“Things just got fired up. We just have to learn from this.”

The excitement for this game — the first time both schools faced off after the Season 80 finals — was through the roof. A little less than 20,000 fans packed the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City to watch the contest and be part of the event. Paras, though, did not buy the hype.

“It’s not a battle of Katipunan. Whoever wins or loses, Ateneo and UP are still gonna be there.

“I think the problem of the media and the people is that you want superiority above anyone. If you look in Katipunan, there are more schools than Ateneo and UP. So that’s not a factor to me. Ateneo’s a great team, so we just have to do better,” said the 2017 South East Asian Games gold medalist.

READ  Score not a reflection of how Maroons played says Perasol

At a personal level, though, Paras knows he has to improve as a player. He might have led UP with 15 points in 34 minutes of action, but with just one three-pointer in six tries, the former Creighton player promises to work hard to improve that facet of his game.

Tiebreaker Times Learning experience for Kobe Paras after facing Ateneo for first time Basketball News UAAP UP  UP Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 Kobe Paras

“I don’t think I was inefficient — I was just missing some shots.

“I just gotta do better, learn from this. I’m not perfect. (I’m) never gonna be perfect. I just have to develop a lot of my game. I just have to start making my threes. That’s one thing I haven’t really gotten a hand of — [it] is my threes in the game. In practice, I make everything, but it’s a different animal talaga sa game. But, no excuses, I just gotta be better,” said the 6-foot-6 forward.

With the loss, State U finishes the first round with five wins and two losses, which is good for 2nd place in the current standings. With the second set to commence next weekend, Paras knows that he and the rest of the Fighting Maroons need to raise their game if they want to make this season a memorable one.

“First round, [so] it’s not the end of the tournament. We just gotta do better this second round and just stay together. There’s gonna be tough games like this, but it’s up to you naman as a person if you want to keep your head low,” he said.

“Life goes on. We’re still blessed with a lot of things.”

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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