ANTIPOLO, Philippines – The UP Fighting Maroons broke its streak of nail-biting finishes in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament after manhandling the struggling UST Growling Tigers by 25, 76-51, to end its first-round campaign.
Despite the well-earned comfortable margin of victory brought by 14 different Maroon scorers, it does not erase the fact that the defending champions had to scrap and claw their way through all but one of their league-best six victories so far.
However, head coach Goldwin Monteverde is not sweating his boys’ inability to hold big leads, but rather is giving more stock on their composure to do what matters most: get the win.
“We don’t really base ourselves on our leads. It’s more of what we thought about the game and what we can improve on,” he said after the UST drubbing.
“We’ve always talked about working hard for a win. I said it only takes one point to win a game. Whether the win is big or not, we must see what we can improve on. That’s where we’ll focus on.”
Monteverde, however, is acknowledging that his wards still do have to improve on their consistency heading to the second round, especially given the fact that every single team has proved itself capable of winning against any foe this season.
“Every time we play, we’ll really give it our best. What’s important for us is regardless of what we meet on the floor during the game, we’ll face the challenge and try to overcome it as a team,” he continued.
“Actually if you look, even back in the preseason, all the teams have already vastly improved. For us, we respect every team we face and we really prepare for all. What’s important, as I’ve said, is we also know that we have to continue improving along with them.” – Rappler.com