Fighting Maroons now giving Diliman community the wins they deserve
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 06, 2016 08:40 PM
KEEP 'EM COMING. Jett Manuel and the rest of the UP Fighting Maroons want to see more and more maroon from this point forward.
For a long while, the University of the Philippines has always witnessed their Fighting Maroons live up to their monicker.
Live up in the sense that, each and every game, the UP men’s basketball team always finds a way to make things interesting, but also always finds a onto the loss column.
You know, always fighting, but never winning.
The tides may very well be turning for State U in Season 79, however, especially after scoring their fifth win in 13 games on Sunday. Still with one assignment left, the 5-8 record is already their best since 2005.
The change in culture has resulted in a change of the level of support from the Diliman community – as the wins have piled up, more and more fans have also filed into the venues.
And for the Maroons themselves, this level of support has been what they have always been longing for. As third-year guard Kyles Lao put it, “All throughout sa stay ko sa UP, ito talaga ang hinihintay ng mga fans. Of course, I’m really happy for the team.”
He then continued, “But more importantly, it’s (about) giving the fans the wins that they deserve.”
Captain Jett Manuel could only echo his teammate’s sentiments. “The support that the UP community is bringing in, that’s something I want to feel before I leave. We want to give something back to them for supporting us through wins or losses,” he expressed.
More than the many on-court milestones they have already claimed, UP believes that their biggest achievement of the season is re-invigorating the long-suffering spirit of their school. “Ang pinakamagandang nangyari this season is the generating of excitement sa UP community. Ang laki kasi ng epekto e, minsan iniisip mo na ‘di naman tayo pinupuntahan,” coach Bo Perasol said.
He then continued, “But when you see them supporting you, nagbibigay ng kakaibang confidence at lakas ng loob sa mga players.”
And as such, whatever happens with their playoff hopes, the first-year mentor said the Maroons have already made their faithful proud. “In the first place, we agreed na ‘di namin inaasam yung Final Four. Ang iniisip lang namin is how we can be better and I think we achieved something we can be proud of,” he said.
Just like they have always claimed that this is only the beginning of a brighter future, Manuel only hopes to see more and more maroon from this point forward. “I hope that they keep on supporting us because we play so much better,” he said while beaming.
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