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Win over La Salle showed character Monteverde wanted to instill in his UP


University of the Philippines head coach Goldwin Monteverde may just be in his first season of coaching in the collegiate ranks, but he is definitely no stranger to pressure-packed moments on the court.

In a do-or-die match against De La Salle University, the Fighting Maroons fought tooth and nail to keep their title hopes alive and successfully clinch their seat in the Finals.

On Friday evening, the Green Archers were in the driver’s seat for the most part of the game as their lead stretched to as much as 14 points. However, the Fighting Maroons put their foot on the pedal in the last four minutes of the game. They unleashed a 22-4 run to take the lead and escape with a narrow victory.

After pulling off a massive comeback, Monteverde credited the fight and resilience that his players showed as they overcame the punches thrown by a tough La Salle team.

UAAP-84-Mens-Basketball-DLSU-vs-UP-Goldwin-Monteverde-2-1-scaled Win over La Salle showed character Monteverde wanted to instill in his UP Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“Actually, halos buong game we were struggling and it led until sa last four minutes,” reflected Monteverde.

“They never gave up even through struggles the whole game. Kumbaga overcoming adversity, sa totoo lang ‘di ko ma-ano what I’m feeling right now.”

Aside from successfully climbing back from a huge deficit, the Fighting Maroons were also missing five of their players in the all-important game against the Green Archers.

One of them is CJ Cansino, who suffered a bone bruise in his right knee during their final elimination game against Ateneo.

Monteverde also revealed that other UP players had food poisoning which hindered them from seeing action on Friday evening.

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Even without some of their guys, the Fighting Maroons still showed unwavering eagerness and determination to win the game despite the odds stacked against them.

UAAP-84-MBB-DLSU-vs.-UP-Malick-Diouf-1060 Win over La Salle showed character Monteverde wanted to instill in his UP Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“But I just remembered ‘yung pina-practice namin yesterday. We were five man down – may mga injured kami and some of the guys got food poisoning the other day,” Monteverde admitted. “Before we started this game, kumbaga everybody made that decision that whatever happens we’re gonna fight until the end.

“And good thing whatever we talked about we followed through, we never gave up, and we won the game.”

At this point of the season, the Fighting Maroons are ready to go all-in and put everything out on the floor. They now inch closer to bringing home a crown to Diliman and ending their longstanding title drought.

UAAP-84-MBB-DLSU-vs.-UP-Ricci-Rivero-Carl-Tamayoo-1127 Win over La Salle showed character Monteverde wanted to instill in his UP Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“Siguro, last night we talked as a team. Siguro dun rin nagmula lahat ng situation dahil we talked about ‘yung making a decision na whatever happens… Kumbaga we’re really gonna fight for it until the end,” the multi-titled high school mentor stressed.

“We asked ourselves if this is really worth it. Worth it despite everything that’s happening, is it worth fighting for? And we all made that decision to fight for the UP community – to fight what we practiced for, what we prepared for.

“Kanina nga last seven minutes… Kumbaga binabalikan lang namin’ ‘yung pinag-usapan namin since last night, na whatever happens we’re still here, we got this. Just don’t give up,” he continued.

At the end of the day, successfully rising to the occasion and coming out on top of a heartstopping affair against the Green Archers truly showed what the Fighting Maroons are made of.

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UAAP-84-MBB-DLSU-vs.-UP-Goldwin-Monteverde-1133-1 Win over La Salle showed character Monteverde wanted to instill in his UP Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“I think more than the X and O’s, ‘yung heart ‘nung team kanina is the most important thing,” Monteverde shared.

“Di lang naman siguro sa X and O’s but whatever the team did kanina it was really special for them. And I think for me it defined them kung anong klaseng character the UP Fighting Maroons have.”

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Win over La Salle showed character Monteverde wanted to instill in his UP Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

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