UP Acting Maroons? ‘Natamaan talaga ako,’ says Desiderio
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 25, 2016 05:51 PM
FLOPPING MAROONS? UP made the game against FEU interesting right after Paul Desiderio fished an unsportsmanlike foul on his former teammate Ron Dennison.
Indeed, the University of the Philippines are “matatapang, matatalino.”
Leaning on their smarts, the Maroons were able to put up a good fight against defending champion Far Eastern University.
At the 2:48 mark of the final frame, referees called a disqualifying foul on Tamaraw starter Ron Dennison – causing an automatic ejection. Replays showed, however, that he did not do anything to UP’s Paul Desiderio who fell to the floor while seemingly writing in pain.
Asked about what happened after FEU pulled off a 51-49 decision, their graduating guard, of course, defended himself. As he put it, “Hindi ko siya sinuntok. Wala, kahit tignan niyo pa at kahit i-replay niyo pa ng sampung beses yun.”
Coach Nash Racela was also fast in backing up his ward. “Umarte lang, nagpabasgsak lang si (Paul). I don’t think kalabitin ka sa tiyan, babagsak ka nang ganoon,” he said.
He then continued, “So the referees should be smart enough.”
For his part, however, the third-year Maroon stood by his story. “Natamaan talaga ako. Ang sakit ng tiyan ko e,” he expressed, while pointing to the lower part of his ribcage.
He also added, “Pisikal lang talaga si Dennison. Ganyan lang yan, nasanay na ako na may mga ano lang siya na extra.”
Desiderio was quick to clarify, however, that there was no bad blood between the two of them – who were apparently teammates back in high school. “Wala yun. Teammate ko before, captain ball ko before si Dennison sa University of Visayas,” he said.
He then continued, “Best friend ko yan so sports lang. sabi ko kasi, bibigyan namin ng good fight.”
According to the 19-year-old, he played with Dennison for one year with the Lancers.
Still, the 22-year-old Tamaraw was firm in saying he didn’t do anything. “Wala akong intension. Alam ni Desiderio na nasasaktan siya kaya willing siya mag-flop,” he said.
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