After being on the positive end of the most lopsided finals victory in UAAP Finals history in the Final Four era, Iskos and Iskas flocked to the SMART Araneta Coliseum in droves, expecting the Fighting Maroons to seal another championship for Diliman.
However, those fans were dealt the wrong end of another blowout as a reinvigorated De La Salle University squad torched the Maroons, 82-60, forcing a game 3 decider on Wednesday.
After the shocking loss, UP head coach Goldwin Montverde refused to point fingers at anything but themselves for the defeat.
“Well, it is what it is kung ano nangyari today.
“We’re not gonna make any reasons kung ano turnout ng game today, rather we’re gonna look inside us, kung ano dapat namin ginawa. Ang importante dito may Game Three pa so nandoon pa yung chance namin. Yun lang, learn from it lang,” admitted the former NUNS head coach in his usual calm demeanor.
Montverde’s diagnosis of Sunday’s double-digit loss centered around the tremendous energy that the Green Archers entered the game with, refusing to go down without a fight.
“Well, going towards mga ganitong game, I felt that they had more energy kanina. And ganitong mga klaseng game would really teach us kung what kind of effort to put forth to be able to get the championship, and if need be, to learn this way,” explained Montverde.
As the Fighting Maroons enter a third Game Three finals match-up in three seasons, Monteverde – who has three UAAP crowns under his belt – called on his team to match the intensity of their counterparts from the get-go, especially knowing what’s on the line.
“Sa akin ‘pag Finals siyempre from the very start of the game dapat alam mo na what’s at stake and anong klaseng intensity and focus na haharapin mo, and whatever pressures involved there we should take it like men para ma-overcome yan.”
Only one team will emerge victorious Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. Montverde knows what he has to ask from his squad if they wish to bring the crown back to Katipunan.