Text by: Anton Onato
Photo courtesy: Patricia Nabong
MANILA – The Fighting Maroons lost steam at end game and bowed to Far Eastern University on Saturday, 75-69, in a nail-biting match in the 77th UAAP Men’s Basketball wars at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UP battled FEU in a neck-and-neck match but was not able to make the necessary stops and plays when it mattered as they fell to their 10th loss in 11 games.
Coach Rey Madrid, who guaranteed three wins before the season began, said the chances are slimmer for the Diliman-based team who are yet to play three more games for the elimination round.
“The window’s getting narrower and narrower. We still have Ateneo and NU to face and then we have to duplicate our feat against Adamson. So it’s going to be a tall order,” Madrid said.
Playing his second year as coach for the Maroons, Madrid remains positive despite the loss against FEU.
“They were [challenging] every loose ball. They were [competing] the whole time up to the last moment,” he said. “It was just a matter of the shots coming in or not.”
The Maroons had a great day and waxed hot from rainbow country sinking 8 treys where the last of which from Diego Dario gave them a 69-68 lead with two minutes left in regulation.
It proved to be their last say as the Tamaraws sealed the win behind Mac Belo’s late jumper, 75-69.
“They played a good game. Kaso dulo na kami umangat e. So what I told them, we are building for the future,” the Maroons coach said.
Meanwhile, for Dario, this season is just a learning process for their “young team” going to the next season.
“As early as now we need to prepare for the next season kasi underdog nga kami,” he said. “Kailangan talaga ng hardwork.”
For the schedule of remaining games, check out this poster: