Good friend Jun Manzo sets up Paul Desiderio for career game
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 17, 2017 07:45 PM
CEBU CONNECTION. A good, good friend encouraged Paul Desiderio out of his shooting slump.
Paul Desiderio scored a career-high 28 points in 9-for-16 shooting to spearhead University of the Philippines’ return to the win column on Sunday.
Not bad at all for someone who only averaged 13 points in 23.6 percent shooting through the first two games of the season. “Masyado akong gigil nung first two games. Kinailangan ko talagang i-settle yung sarili ko na relax lang kasi yun nga, forced shots ako nung first two games,” he said afterward.
And in the first half of the Fighting Maroons’ matchup with University of the East, the 20-year-old looked headed toward another off-shooting day only with seven points in 1-for-4 shooting.
Still, Desiderio remained patient and persevering. “Sabi naman ni coach Bo, hintayin ko lang dumating sa akin. Buti na lang na-control ko na yung sarili ko,” he said.
He then continued, “Buti na lang, dumating na nga kasi kung hindi, talo kami.”
In the third quarter, State U’s captain welcomed back with open arms his shooting stroke. Scoring 14 points built on four triples, he was at the forefront of the scintillating 21-3 surge that ultimately led his squad into a bounce back win.
Fortunately for Desiderio, he also had a helping hand in getting back his shooting stroke. “Open lang talaga kanina kasi nga, sinasabi naman ni Jun na ise-set up niya ako palagi,” he said.
He was referring to teammate Jun Manzo whom he shares long relationship with.
The two of them played together for University of Visayas in high school before re-uniting in Diliman. “Malaking bagay talagang nandito na si Jun kasi parang kahit tinginan na lang, alam na namin e. Hindi ko na kailangang sabihan na hanapin niya ako,” Desiderio, the senior between them, said.
In the end, Manzo had three assists – all to his good friend.
And in the end, mentor Bo Perasol was nothing but thankful that the good friend re-connected under his watch. “Malaking bagay talaga ang nawawala sa amin when he is not getting his regular game. What a time to get his game back,” he exclaimed.
He then continued, “We are going to be up against very tough teams in the next few weeks and we need to make sure that we need to get as many wins as we can.”
Desiderio hopes his shooting stroke stays with him when UP takes on defending champion and undefeated De La Salle University a week from now.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.