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Desiderio treks unfamiliar territory with Cafe France

A whole new experience for Fighting Maroon Paul Desiderio.

Paul Desiderio, after years of being with UP Fighting Maroons, is pushing himself, trying to see how he will react when faced with something that is unfamiliar and uncertain.

The six-foot guard suited up for the first time with the Cafe France Bakers, Monday evening. And based on his first game, he made it look that he is adapting well, finishing the game with 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and six boards. Moreover, he helped lead the Bakers to an 83-67 win over fellow contenders Tanduay Rhum Masters.

Now that his debut is already in the books, Desiderio reflected on the moment, admitting that he still has a lot to adjust and learn in order for him to fit well with his new teammates.

“Gigil pa,” said Desiderio.

“Ina-adapt ko pa yung sistema ni Coach Egay [Macaraya]. Hindi kasi ako masyadong ano sa dribble-drive, so ngayon nag-aadjust na ‘ko para sa team.”

The 20-year-old then shared that playing outside UP — the team he was used to play for in the previous years — feels strange, particularly in the technical aspects of basketball.

“Medyo naninibago kasi, yun nga, nasa labas ako ng UP. Yung sa amin more on pick-and-roll [at] set plays sa UP.

“Dito sa CafeFrance, dribble-drive. Yung decision making mo, dito ka mag-aadjust kung paano yung laro mo,” he explained.

And when asked if he can rate from 1 to 10 on how much has he adjusted to Macaraya’s system, Desiderio admitted that he still has a long way to go.

“Siguro mga seven palang. Hopefully mga ilang weeks maka-adjust na ‘ko,” he answered.

With the way he fared against the Rhum Masters in his debut, Desiderio and the Bakers seem to be like a perfect match.

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Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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