UP Maroons clears the air around Desiderio’s comments before UST game
MANILA, Philippines – Communication is key.
Before facing the UST Growling Tigers over the weekend, the UP Fighting Maroons had a discussion about the comments made by captain Paul Desiderio to the media following the team’s blowout loss against the DLSU Green Archers.
According to another one of UP’s team captains, Jett Manuel, both he and Desiderio first cleared the air about what he really meant before explaining it to the entire team.
“I spoke to Paul personally. Things like that happen, especially with the media, but I think good things came out of that,” Manuel said to Rappler after UP lost a close game against UST and dropped to 0-3 in UAAP Season 79.
“We were positive about it. At first we didn’t know what happened, why it just came out like that, but Paul’s a good teammate, good person, and honestly we got even closer after that thing,” Manuel added.
Following UP’s one-sided loss to La Salle, Desiderio told members of the media about how tired he had become with what felt like a losing mentality within the Maroons.
“Talo kami Adamson by 19, tapos ngayon by 18. Talagang nasa utak ng iba na okay lang matalo. Sa akin kasi kailangan sa utak ko manalo ka eh kasi wala, walang mangyayari sa amin nito kung ganito yung nasa isip,” he said, per FOX Sports.
(We lost to Adamson by 19, then to La Salle by 18. It’s really in the minds of some that it’s okay to lose. For me, you need to have a winning mentality because nothing will happen if that is how they think.)
“Sanay na sila eh, nasa utak na,” Desiderio also said. “Yun yung sinasabi ko sa kanila, ‘bakit ayaw niyo manalo?’ Halos parehas lang naman kami nagte-training kami. 'Yan yung binabago ko sa isip nila, kailangan mabago yung isip, na kaya nating manalo.”
(They’re already used to it. That’s what I told them, “Why don’t you want to win?” We all just train the same. That’s what I’m trying to change in them, that we need to believe we can win.)
Manuel said that it was important for the Maroons to set the record straight right away after the comments were made public and not let a possible issue linger the entire week leading up to the contest against UST.
“We tried to squash that issue right away. I mean, inisip nalang namin na (we just thought that) at least it came out early in the season. Something good came out of it, I feel, and that’s what we’re looking at nalang (instead),” he said.
Manuel led UP in scoring with 19 points in the 83-77 defeat against UST, while Desiderio finished with 12 points. Unlike in the Maroons’ losses to Adamson and La Salle, the team didn’t falter after going behind by double digits in the fourth period and even managed to tie the contest at 71-all.
But led by Louie Vigil, UST hit the big shots late in order to come away with the victory.
“After the game, well, it sucked,” admitted Manuel, but according to him, there were also some positive qualities taken from the loss.
“Thinking about it, I mean, I think it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing we hurt after losses. Gone are the days we lose and we feel like it’s okay. Gone are the days we lose and we [just] feel like, ‘Malakas talaga [ang kalaban], we can’t do anything.’”
If anything, UP is learning to deal with defeats and using them as learning experiences. The team could have easily let its morale drown after receiving a beatdown from La Salle, but the Maroons instead focused on areas for improvement and arrived ready to play the Tigers to the end.
“Coming off a really bad loss to La Salle, we didn’t let it affect us negatively. So we knew we had to prepare for being optimistic to get our first win, so the whole week we were focused, we were preparing, we learned from our mistakes,” said the veteran Manuel.
“And I think that’s what Coach Bo’s brought to us - focus, tapos na 'yun (it’s over). Focus on this game naman (instead).”
UP will have arguably its best shot at a first win on Wednesday, September 21, when it takes on another winless team in the UE Red Warriors. The Maroons feel there is some momentum on their side right now after playing well against UST, and according to their team captain, a victory is on the horizon.
“We really want to win, and as a leader of the team, I want to keep that energy going. We’re due a win. I feel we’re due a win with how hard we work and the effort we put in,” said Manuel. – Rappler.com