A welcome from an overseas trip is supposed to be warm, but that wasn’t the case for Paul Desiderio.
The 5-foot-11 guard played his first game on Thursday since coming back from the UP Fighting Maroons’ training camp in Serbia days ago, but it was a sour one, as his Go for Gold Scratchers lost to the Che’lu Bar and Grill Revellers.
That loss, a 96-100 defeat that was mainly caused by conference Most Valuable Player candidate Jeff Viernes, has sent the Scratchers to a 0-1 deficit in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup best-of-five Finals.
“Nawala kami sa tempo,” rued Desiderio as the Scratchers lost hold of a 14-point lead in the third quarter.
Desiderio himself hadn’t been able to perform well in the Finals’ opener. In the 13 minutes and 36 seconds he played, the Cebuano gunslinger only had three points on 1-of-5 shooting with three assists and two rebounds.
The Fighting Maroons’ team captain admitted that he has yet to recover from their 13-hour trip from the Balkan region. But Desiderio also admitted that his first-ever foray in a championship bout had maybe made him too excited.
“Pagod pa rin kasi may jetlag pa pagdating namin ng Monday ng gabi, diretso ako practice ng umaga kay coach Charles. Nung Wednesday, double session agad. Medyo pagod pa pero ‘di naman excuse ‘yun,” he said.
“First time ko rin sa Finals, yung gigil nandoon din.”
With an underwhelming outing, Desiderio vowed that he’ll show up much better come Game Two next week, where they will do their best to prevent the Revellers to move on the cusp of bagging home the coveted crown.
“Game Two ibubuhos ko na rin kasi nahihiya na rin ako kay coach Charles [Tiu],” he confessed. “Nagpaalam ako kay coach Bo [Perasol] na lalaro ako sa Finals, so ibibigay ko na kay coach Charles sa Game Two.”
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