It took 13 tries, but that unlucky number proved to be the exact opposite for the University of the Philippines after Paul Desiderio sunk his second game-winner of the season to finally end the Far Eastern Univesity Tamaraws’ mastery over them, 59-56, Saturday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Laki ng pakiusap ni Paolo Romero na in his seven years in UP, hindi pa niya natatalo ang FEU. We did it for Pao,” said second-year UP head coach Bo Perasol, who is the first UP head coach in a decade that can say that he has beaten the seven other UAAP teams.
This is UP’s first win against FEU since the first round of the 74th season of the UAAP. The game happened on August 4, 2011, with a scoreline of 76-63.
And it took another gutsy shot from Desiderio to snap UP’s two-game slide to create a tie with FEU for fourth place in the standings.
“Nasa isip ko na lang tabla o panalo,” said Desiderio, as he was just 5-for-22 from the field prior to the long bomb he detonated.
With 1.1 seconds left and the game knotted at 56-all, Desiderio threw a long triple over the outstretched arms of his friend and former high school teammate Ron Dennison to give UP the lead.
Besides the shot, he also made sure to limit Dennison to just nine points on 4-for-13 shooting, which was below his 12.0 average.
“Paul also made sure na babawi siya kay Dennison with regards to the defense. Aside dun sa ginawa niya sa end game, he was able to limit Dennison to just nine points,” shared Perasol.
“Ako naman yung Dennison stopper,” quipped Desiderio, who finished with 15 points and five rebounds, “Mindset ko, kailangan ko siya bawian kasi lagi na lang ako dehado sa kanya.”
UP squandered a strong second quarter, falling by as much as 11 points in the final frame.
“Yung mga struggles namin, it’s what we need for us to grow. Masakit but we have the same goal which is to uplift the program,” said Perasol.
Down 53-43 with 5:46 left, the Fighting Maroons went on an 13-0 rally capped by a Gelo Vito triple and a Jun Manzo bucket with 38 ticks remaining. Jasper Parker was able to knot things up with his third triple of the contest six seconds later. Desiderio would not allow another defeat that led to the game-winning bucket.
Jasper Parker led FEU with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds, and five assists. Arvin Tolentino chipped in 12 markers off the bench.
Ibra Ouattara 10 points, 15 rebounds, adn two swats.
UP look to continue their momentum from this game when they face the Adamson University Soaring Falcons on Sunday, November 5, at 4:00pm. FEU, on the other hand, take on the University of the East Red Warriors on the same day at 2:00pm. Both games will be played at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
UP (59) – Desiderio 15, Ouattara 10, Manzo 7, Gomez de Liaño Ju. 7, Gomez de Liaño Ja. 6, Lim 6, Vito 5, Lao 2, Jaboneta 1, Webb 0, Prado 0, Dario 0, Ricafort 0, Battad 0, Romero 0.
FEU (56) – Parker 13, Tolentino 12, Dennison 9, Comboy 6, Trinidad 4, Cani 3, Orizu 3, Ramirez 3, Tuffin 2, Eboña 1, Iñigo 0.
Quarterscores: 14-18, 32-25, 37-47, 59-56
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