Ron Dennison and Paul Desiderio are good friends off the court, having been teammates back in high school at the University of Visayas. But on the UAAP floor, the two fiery competitors have always set aside their friendship, playing as if they are heated rivals.
And for the four years they have been in Manila, Dennison and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws always got the upper hand, with the Tamaraws defeating the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons for 12 straight times — including a 78-59 win Sunday afternoon.
Besides FEU’s streak, Dennison has always had the upper hand in his heads up match-up against Desiderio, limiting him to just 12.33 points on a combined 13-for-41 clip during their last three match-ups.
“High school pa kasi magkakilala na kami, kaya alam ko rin ang mga galaw niya,” FEU’s defensive specialist reflected. “Teammate ko siya nun kaya pamilyar ako sa mga ginagawa niya.
“Hindi ko na nga pinapanood yung game tape niya para hindi ako ma-stress.”
But even if Dennison has had the edge over UP’s ace, he still feels that Desiderio got the better of him a year ago.
Last September 25, 2017, with 2:48 remaining in the game and FEU up by just three points, 47-44, Denisson was guarding Desiderio, but the latter ran into his arm and crumpled to the floor. The referee nearby immediately called a disqualifying foul on Dennison.
Up to this day, the graduating FEU guard hasn’t forgotten it.
“Last year, ‘di ba, naisahan niya ako sa flop,” quipped Dennison, who finished with 16 points while limiting Desiderio to a horrid 4-for-12 shooting game.
“Kaya kanina, umaarte na naman siya pero hindi ko siya pinagbigyan talaga na gagawin niya ulit sa akin ‘yun.”
Safe to say, Dennison still has Desiderio’s number.