Desiderio says he needs to transition from scorer to playmaker

Desiderio says he needs to transition playmaker
STRUGGLE. Put simply, Paul Desiderio has not been shooting well to start the season.

Paul Desiderio is yet to find the mark in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

His cold-blooded three rescued University of the Philippines from University of Sto. Tomas, but Desiderio nonetheless shot 6-for-20 last Sunday.

Three days later, the Fighting Maroons’ captain had it worse, only converting four of his 18 shots.

“Struggle talaga. Na-scout talaga kami,” he said after he and his team were walloped by Ateneo de Manila University, 71-92. “Halos lahat ng play namin, ng gagawin ko, na-counter ng Ateneo.”

Through two games in the tournament, Desiderio is averaging 13 points on 26.3 percent shooting – without a doubt, far from what he’s capable of. “Pero parang wake up call na rin ‘to sa amin,” he said.

After getting nothing to go against the Blue Eagles, the 20-year-old has woken up to an idea that it may now be his job to make sure State U’s other guys get going. “Personally, ‘di ako nakaka-adjust. Masyado akong naka-focus sa scoring,” he said.

He then continued, “Siguro sa next game, playmaker muna ako sa team. Mag-a-adjust muna ako.”

Indeed, assisting is an area for improvement as he only has one assist to show through two games.

That would also be very much welcome as UP has more than enough weapons in the likes of Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, Jun Manzo, and Ibrahim Outtara.

It would also help if Desiderio could no longer feel the ill effects of the knee injury he suffered a couple of months ago.

The good news is that he’s trying and he’s getting there. “Hindi ko na naman iniinda. Nasa utak na lang naman kasi hindi na talaga yung katulad nang dati na saksak lang nang saksak; naiilang na talaga ako,” he shared.

He then continued, “Pero malayo pa naman. Kayang-kaya pang makabawi.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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