Thursday, 19 August 2010 18 Comments
It was a sad, sad day for the basketball team of the University of the Philippines.
In one last stand to keep their Final Four hopes alive, the Fighting Maroons suffered a terrible beating at the hands of the De La Salle University Green Archers as they defeated UP, 84-63 last Thursday, August 19, 2010 inside the historic Araneta Coliseum. The loss eliminated UP from Final Four contention in the 73rd season of the UAAP.
“Our game plan was to start strong and to outhustle UP. In the second half, I told the boys to share the ball and also to crash the boards,” said DLSU head coach Dindo Pumaren.
His players followed his instructions as the Green Archers as a team outrebounded the Fighting Maroons, 52-48 and forced the Katipunan based squad to turn the ball over 28 times.
Maui Villanueva, a former UPIS player in the juniors division of the league, played a splendid all-around game scoring 14 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, dishing out 3 assists with 2 steals.
“Defensively, mas aggressive kami. Yun ang palaging sinasabi ni coach sa amin, ‘Be aggressive sa loob ng court’ especially sa defense kasi doon nag-sstart yung offense namin. Nag-pay-off naman and that’s how we won this game,” said Villanueva.
Going into the season, UP had high expectations as the team paraded in a solid core along with a great batch of blue-chip rookies. However, the tournament has been a big disappointment for them as the team has been surrounded by setbacks, controversy and they have yet to win a single game. Head coach Aboy Castro has left the team indefinitely and former rookie of the year, Woody Co tore his right fascia in the first round.
Things took another scary turn for UP in what has become a season to forget as athletic guard, Mark Lopez fell down awkwardly on his right knee at the 4:38 mark of the third period. He had to be carried out of the court on a stretcher with his right knee wrapped in a brace.
According to the UP medical staff, Lopez felt a “pop” on his right knee upon landing and may have suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament.
And, the nightmare wasn’t over yet. Woody Co, who has been gutting it out in his final year, playing with injury, sprained his right foot, the same foot with the torn fascia, a few moments after Lopez suffered his injury in the same period. He was on the floor terribly grimacing in pain after he twisted his foot while landing awkwardly with a drive to the basket.
La Salle will now focus its attention on their big game against the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles which will take place on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 4:00 P.M. inside the Big Dome, the Araneta Coliseum.
“Right now, we’re not thinking about Ateneo pa. Siguro, after this, that’s when we’ll start. Our focus today was on UP. I told them that we cannot overlook UP. So, we have Ateneo on Sunday, we’ll talk about it after,” said Pumaren when asked about their game against their arch-rivals.
Joseph Marata, who was the hero in La Salle’s first round victory over Ateneo, did not play today as he has been battling a flu.
“He will play on Sunday. Pinagpahinga ko lang ngayon,” declared Pumaren.
DLSU improved its record to 6-3 while UP remained winless with a 0-9 record.
DLSU 84 – Villanueva 14, Tampus 11, Banal 11, Vosotros 10, Atkins 7, Mendoza 6, de la Paz 5, Tolentino 5, Ferdinand 5, Elorde 5, Paredes 2, Webb 2, Andrada 2, Herrera 1, Reyes 0.
UP 63 – Silungan 12, Sison 12, Co 10, Ma. Reyes 9, Maniego 6, Hipolito 4, Manuel 3, Mi. Reyes 3, Evangelista 2, Lopez 2, Saret 0, Pascual 0, Juruena 0, Gomez 0, Gingerich 0.
Quarter scoring: 19-16, 37-29, 60-47, 84-63.