Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Nothing Personal: Francis Lopez focuses on UP victory after helping eliminate Ateneo


Francis Lopez preferred to focus on the present after the University of the Philippines knocked out Ateneo de Manila University 57-46 in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

It must be remembered that the former Blue Eaglet was in the thick of the Blue Eagles’ celebration last Season 85 when Ateneo annexed the crown at the expense of UP on December 19, 2022.

And then Lopez sent shockwaves by transferring to the Fighting Maroons.

His move to Diliman was announced at the same time the Blue Eagles were having a bonfire to celebrate their championship.

Despite raising eyebrows by doing a “shush” sign the last time both schools faced off in the elimination round, he took a more restrained tone this time around.

UAAP-S85-MBB-Finals-Game-3-ADMU-vs-UP-Lopez-and-Baldwin Nothing Personal: Francis Lopez focuses on UP victory after helping eliminate Ateneo Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“I have no comment about Ateneo but what matters is where I’m at right now, which is UP.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I feel blessed that I’m here and I have no regrets transferring to UP,” said the 6-foot-4 winger, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds against Ateneo.

Lopez came into the UP program amidst big expectations.

He has had several games this season where he did quite well, but he found it hard to perform in a satisfactory fashion during others.

It must be remembered that the 20-year-old Fil-Nigerian is just a rookie. Rather than reflect on his own performances this year, he is instead happy to be part of the team that has a chance to go all the way.

UAAP86-MBB-Francis-Lopez-Mason-Amos-9821 Nothing Personal: Francis Lopez focuses on UP victory after helping eliminate Ateneo Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“There have been some ups and downs, but the coaches have been telling me that you just have to move on (and) just keep on learning on the mistakes that I’ve made,” said Lopez, the leader in the Rookie of the Year race.

#ReadMore  Michael Martinez begs off SEA Games to rest, says PSU prexy

“I’m just really happy that we got this win. I know it’s a tough win but it’s gonna be tougher, especially in the finals. Those are the final games. I’m just really happy right now but the job’s not done for us,” he furthered.

“We still have a lot of things (to do). Our mission is just two more wins and we’re done for the season.”

While it takes a brave person to turn down a legendary coach like Tab Baldwin, Lopez is happy to work with the likes of coach Goldwin Monteverde, Christian Luanzon, Tom Chua, and the rest of the Fighting Maroons’ coaching staff.

Monteverde himself is a step ahead of Baldwin with a 7-6 record. Now, though, the former NUNS head coach is thinking of how the Fighting Maroons can make it two championships in three years.

Without a doubt, Lopez will be a key ingredient for that to happen, and he is very happy that he gets to learn under Monteverde and his staff.

UAAP86-MBB-Francis-Lopez-0033 Nothing Personal: Francis Lopez focuses on UP victory after helping eliminate Ateneo Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“I wanna thank the coaches for getting all this work that they’ve done for us, especially against Ateneo.” he said. “Coach Tab has been here. He’s been in the UAAP for a long time. I know he’s gonna be making some adjustments.

“Our coaches were there. I’m just really happy that they always got our backs. I’m just really happy that we got the W. We just came prepared more than Ateneo. We just fought really really hard. I’m just happy that we got the third finals for UP,” he expressed.

“We’re just gonna continue to fight and fight until we get what we want, which is the championship.”

Written By

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


You May Also Like

Basketball

Kevin Quiambao, Kent Pastrana, Bella Belen, and Joshua Retamar will be recognized as the collegiate season’s cream of the crop at the Collegiate Press...

Basketball

University of the Philippines hit two birds with one stone in San Juan on Wednesday: securing their title retention and maintaining an unbeaten run...

Basketball

The Collegiate Press Corps (CPC) will honor seven of the best coaches at the collegiate level, including mentors in volleyball and women’s basketball for...

Basketball

University of the Philippines is facing off against De La Salle University once more – this time in the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason...

Basketball

After four intense crossover quarterfinal matchups in the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup, three UAAP teams – Far Eastern University, University of the...

Basketball

After staying at University of the Philippines for almost a year, Chris Hubilla has finally achieved his reunion of sorts – just on the...

Basketball

University of the Philippines has been eliminated from the 2024 Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup. And it’s not because the Fighting Maroons lost. UP was supposed...

Basketball

Although the University of the Philippines currently stands as the lone unbeaten squad at the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup, both Francis Lopez...

Advertisement