Desiderio on game-winner: ‘Ang dami ko nang tinira, mahihiya pa ba ako?’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 10, 2017 07:55 PM
CALLED IT. Nobody else but Paul Desiderio was taking the last shot for UP.
Paul Desiderio hit the biggest shot of his UAAP career to lift University of the Philippines over University of Sto. Tomas on Sunday.
And he knew he was hitting the biggest shot of his UAAP career even during the timeout to plot out the play.
“Hindi ko alam how he did it, but during the timeout, he called it,” head coach Bo Perasol said in his post-game conference. “Sabi niya, ‘Coach, mananalo tayo. Papasok itong tira na ito.’”
Proving he was a man of his word, the Fighting Maroons’ team captain took the pass from Jun Manzo, rose over the outstretched arms of Zach Huang, and buried the bucket that would prove to be the difference for his squad.
For Desiderio, it was only a simple matter of coming through for his teammates – even though he had been struggling for majority of the matchup. “Siyempre, ang dami ko nang tinira, mahihiya pa ba ako e last shot na? Sayang naman,” he said.
He then continued, “Sabi naman ni coach, pag-open, itira ko na. Tinira ko na lang nga, at buti na lang, pumasok.”
The veteran swingman wound up with 17 points on 6-of-20 shooting. Also, he only made good on two of his 11 long-range attempts – but the last one he made was the most important of the game.
Of course, hard work also had much to do with Desiderio’s game-winner. As he put it, “Siyempre, matagal ko na rin namang pina-practice yung three-point shots lalo na laging sinasabi ni coach Bo na i-practice ko talaga. So sinabi ko na talaga sa sarili ko na papasok ito.”
With that, State U is off to a strong start in a season wherein they are determined to end an almost two decade-long playoff absence.
And it was all thanks to their main man. “Bago pa mag-start ang season, lagi kong sinasabi na papasok kami sa Final Four. Gusto ko at least first game pa lang, mapakita na naming kaya namin,” he expressed.
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