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Zavier Lucero says first run with UP is nothing short of a ‘miracle’

Throughout the UAAP Season 84 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Zav Lucero demonstrated why he was such a prized addition to the University of the Philippines men’s basketball team.

A strong presence inside the paint, capable of converting threes from the perimeter, and producing those highlight plays all season long – the 6-foot-7 all-around player played a key role in the Fighting Maroons’ successful championship run that culminated in a classic 72-69 game three win over Ateneo de Manila University.

“I can’t explain it man,” said the former Cal State Maritime Academy student. “Like Carl (Tamayo) said, we made a lot of sacrifices to get here. I mean there was never a doubt what this team… We came here with one goal and we got it done.

“I told the UP community that the time has come and here we are. It feels good.”

Lucero and his teammates had to overcome a lot of adversity and doubters for the duration of their campaign. With so much pressure on their shoulders to end the 36-year title drought, it was all hands on deck every game.

Despite seeing their resolve tested by perennial title contenders De La Salle University and Ateneo in the postseason, UP always found a way to seize the victory. Comeback after comeback came and coach Goldwin Monteverde’s boys just never knew when to quit.

UAAP-84-MBB-ADMU-vs.-UP-Finals-G3-Zavier-Lucero-4164 Zavier Lucero says first run with UP is nothing short of a 'miracle' Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

“You know, there’s never a doubt in our mind. It got a little shaky there, but we’ve seen miracles happen for this team against La Salle, Ateneo, and Ateneo again,” said the International Business and Logistics graduate.

“Our last three wins have kinda been miracle works, so God-given. We’ll take them all.”

With this championship and a mostly-intact lineup save for the graduation of Ricci Rivero and Noah Webb, the Fighting Maroons are favorites to win the crown anew come Season 85, which will start sometime in September this year.

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If there is one thing that Lucero hopes to see again in UP’s next crusade in the UAAP, it is the Fighting Maroons’ capability of showing up any given day to clinch the win.

Case in point: the former NAIA Division II standout failed to score a point in game three against the Blue Eagles. He got four rebounds, one block, and one assist in 17 minutes of play. Still, this is all irrelevant thanks to the heroics of his brothers on the floor.

“You know what? It’s gonna be big time for us to step up. But I mean, looked who stepped up tonight? We had a lot of big guys step up in a lot of big ways tonight, so it is never gonna be about us or about me,” said the Season 84 Mythical Five awardee.

“I had zero points, Carl had six. That says it right there. Six points combined and look at the guys who stepped up. So I mean, we’re in a good position from one to 16 and we’re gonna be confident into next year as well.”

Now as a UAAP gold medalist with UP, Lucero has proven his worth in the collegiate landscape. Expect him to be one of the leaders next time around as the Fighting Maroons will persevere to go back-to-back.

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Zavier Lucero says first run with UP is nothing short of a 'miracle' Basketball News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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