Just two weeks before UAAP, Paul Desiderio a champion again

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 23, 2018 08:13 PM
Just two weeks before UAAP, Paul Desiderio a champion again
Paul Desiderio now has championship experience to bring back to mother team UP

Like Jett Manuel did two weeks before him, Paul Desiderio is now also a champion for the first time since high school.

Desiderio was a key cog as Go for Gold bested Che’Lu Bar and Grill for the championship in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

“Sarap. Sarap. Sarap,” he said with a wide smile post-game, celebrating his first title since winning it all in the CESAFI Juniors.

Gab Banal was the star all throughout the five-game series that went the distance, but it was the versatile swingman’s heroics that head coach Charles Tiu pointed to as the turning point for their championship. “If not for Paul’s heroics, we would have lost that game,” he told reporters.

In Game 3, the Scratchers were trailing by as much as 16 and fired all but six of his 28 points in the second half.

That kind of heart is exactly what Desiderio hopes to impart to his teammates in the University of the Philippines as they gear up for the looming UAAP Season 81. “Yung confidence, yung maturity, ang dami kong natutunan. Sabi nga ni coach Charles, ‘di ko pa na-experience ‘to so kelangan gagawin ko lahat para makuha ‘to,” he shared.

He then continued, “Dadalhin ko sa UP yug attitude ng mga teammates ko na winners talaga.”

With Manuel, another firestarter for UP, also having just won his breakthrough championship with Ginebra, the Fighting Maroons now have more than a few sources of inspiration.

Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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