Desiderio powers UP to back-to-back wins

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 21, 2017 03:20 PM
Desiderio powers UP to back-to-back wins
GIMME, GIMME MORE. With Paul Desiderio taking his place as UP's top gun, coach Bo Perasol is challenging his other wards to step up.

Now University of the Philippines’ undisputed main man, Paul Desiderio is showcasing all of his wares in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.

Posting a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double, Desiderio did the heavy lifting as the University of the Philippines warded off competitive College of St. Benilde, 77-70, on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

With back-to-back wins in the preseason, Desiderio and company have lived up to their billing as a team to watch.

However, coach Bo Perasol is looking for much more. “I’m happy we got the win, but we really have to improve in trying to get an identity on defense. We know that defenses are going to clamp down on Paul, so it’s better if we can get stops so that our guards will be able to get chances in transition,” he said.

Indeed, State U’s offense went missing in the second quarter as the scrappy Blazers held it to only nine points.

Fortunately, Desiderio again got into his groove in the third quarter as UP mounted an advantage that didn’t go below seven points for the remainder of the game.

Rob Ricafort added 12 points of his own to help the Fighting Maroons weather off games from rookie studs Juan Gomez de Liano and Jun Manzo who only had five points apiece.

On the other hand, CSB dropped its fourth game in a row following a tournament-opening win. This, despite the best efforts of Clement Leutcheu who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

BOX SCORES

UP 77 — Desiderio 22, Ricafort 12, Prado 8, Quattara 7, Manzo 5, Ju. De Liano 5, Dario 5, Lim 5, Webb 4, Ja. De Liano 2, Romero 2, Lao 0

CSB 70 — Leutcheu 18, Sta. Maria 16, Dixon 12, JJ Domingo 8, Naboa 5, Young 5, Velasco 4, San Juan 2, Castor 0, Bunyi 0, Mercado 0, Suarez 0

QUARTER SCORES: 28-14; 37-34; 60-53; 77-70

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