Feeling the effects of Coach Bo Perasol’s absence, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffer a 16-point loss, 73-89, at the hands of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, today at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Facing a deep team of defensive domineers, the Fighting Maroons had trouble getting out of a big deficit and failed to bring home the victory.  

At the helm of the first quarter, the Tamaraws made it challenging for the Maroons as the Sampaloc-based squad were quick-witted and determined, drawing fouls that earned them frequent trips to the charity stripe.

Being outsmarted on the other end of the court, the Diliman Squad were unable to control the pace of the game. With effective screens and blocks from dominant players like FEU’s Prince Orizu, UP was marooned in the courts of San Juan.

Despite their efforts in establishing unselfish basketball, the Maroon ballplayers did not work towards setting up a defensive strategy. This led to the FEU Tamaraws beating them in attaining more inside and outside shots.

During the end of the first half, the Tamaraws were able to bag a 62.90% field goal percentage that trumped the 44.44% eFG of the losing team.

Trailing by 12 points at the end of the first frame, UP knew that a 13 – 25 score was not something to be proud of. Knowing that they had to get their heads together, the Maroons worked towards improving ball movement in the second frame.

Leaving the Tamaraws’ side of the court open and their fellow teammates unsupported, despite their excellent teamwork, UP was unable to defend both sides of the court, to end the second quarter.

By halftime, the score contextualized UP’s struggles as they were down, 35-49.

Come second half, numbers also defined their problems as poor time management from both teams was seen.

Shotclock violations from the two teams proved that pressure was getting to them. Eventually, this led to the standing of 46-69, FEU, to end the third.

Acknowledging the 23-point gap, the Fighting Maroons went on an early 10-0 run in the fourth, but it was just too tough a mountain to climb, score ended, 73-89, in favor of the Tamaraws.

Ultimately, the suspension of State U’s main mentor stunted the team’s confidence. With the Tamaraws ahead by 25 during the third quarter and earning a 59.52% field goal percentage at the conclusion of the game, it is evident that the defensive and offensive prowess of these players left the Maroons scrambling for help.

In an interview, Javi Gomez De Liano urges his teammates to push themselves towards improvement. He also encourages the UP community to continue supporting them as they plan on forgetting today’s loss and growing throughout the season.

Four Maroons finished with double digits with Javi and Juan Gomez De Liano having 15 and 13 points while Jun Manzo and Paul Desiderio ended the game with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Prince Orizu led FEU with 15 points.

UP now sits at a 1-2 record and hope to bounce back against the undefeated Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons on Wednesday. TNP

Photo by Clarizzah Tualla

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