Perasol knows UP can be better after near-collapse
MANILA, Philippines – Bo Perasol breathed a sigh of relief after the UP Fighting Maroons snapped a 3-game skid, but he knows they could still be better in closing out wins.
The Maroons arrested a fourth-quarter meltdown against the injury-plagued De La Salle Green Archers to eke out a 67-61 triumph that earned them their second win in 5 games in the UAAP Season 81 basketball tournament.
Flashbacks of their last-second loss to the Adamson Soaring Falcons flashed before UP's eyes as its 14-point lead turned into a slim one-point advantage as the Green Archers erected a 13-0 fightback with 2:20 minutes left.
Thankfully for UP, it kept its composure and escaped after a few penalty shots to seal the deal.
A mere escape after a leading by double digits in the final frame is not enough for Perasol, though.
"We all know that there's much to be desired with how we ended the game, but then again we can't forget the fact that we won it," he said in the post-game presser.
"We would have wanted to be better in the endgame, but probably we needed these kind of wins so that we would know how to be better."
The third-year tactician admitted that the Adamson loss was well in his mind at the time.
"That was a painful loss for us against Adamson. The first thing that's going to be taken away from you when you lose successively is the confidence," he said.
"That's something that's very difficult to get back, and the only way to get that back is to win."
"We all know we can, but then when you play the game you tend to doubt yourselves most of the time," he continued. "I'm just relieved that we were able to get this win back and hope that we can get again into the winning groove into the next game."
Despite the near-collapse, Perasol's stars all came to play.
Bright Akhuetie, surprisingly the league's second-leading assist man, followed his 20-point, 20-rebound game with a 19-19 performance with 3 assists.
Juan Gomez de Liano finished with 17 points, 6 dimes and 3 boards while Paul Desiderio had his best game of the early season with 12 markers, 7 boards, 4 steals and 2 assists with 3-of-10 (30%) shots from downtown.
And when the stars align for UP, that's when they can start living up to the hype they inevitably attracted. – Rappler.com