UP Fighting for Twice-to-Beat Edge in UAAP
MANILA, Philippines—Despite securing a Final Four spot in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons continues to work hard. The work aims to secure a twice-to-beat advantage as the elimination round nears its end.
According to assistant Christian Luanzon, the Fighting Maroons seemed to follow coach Goldwin Monteverde’s mantra in their dominant 81-64 win over Far Eastern University at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
“Coach Gold reminds his players with this thing we call, ‘keep pounding.’ All throughout the game, he was reminding the players that the home run plays won’t be captured with just one pound,” said Luanzon. The Fighting Maroons blueprint in their drubbing of the Tamaraws followed this strategy closely.
Luanzon reiterated that the goalpost moved a bit farther for the Fighting Maroons despite their convincing win against the Tamaraws. After securing a spot in the Final Four by defeating University of the East, 79-72, their new target is securing the first or second seed.
“We’re just taking this one game and practice at a time. We know what’s at stake and last game it clinched our final four spot. Now, we have another goal,” explained Luanzon.
CALM, COOL AND COMMITTED
To notch what’s at stake, the Fighting Maroons need to be committed to the task at hand. Fortunately for UP’s coaching staff, the players have been committed since failing to be back-to-back champions last year.
“They’ve been committed since January 15. That’s when we started training after finishing on December 19 last year, so it was just pretty much a month off then we had training and preseason tournaments,” bared the assistant mentor.
The committed Maroons have a clear memo. Like today, UP will have to keep pounding to take care of business to return to the UAAP’s grandest stage.