State U can thank ‘lucky Cebuanos’ for their upset win

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 23, 2017 08:41 PM
State U can thank ‘lucky Cebuanos’ for their upset win
QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH. Mainstays Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo were joined by reserve Janjan Jaboneta as UP took down DLSU. All three are Cebuanos.

The University of the Philippines is the first team to defeat De La Salle University in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Leading the charge were Paul Desiderio with a career-high 30 points on top of six rebounds of five assists and Jun Manzo who scored nine of his 17 points in the final frame.

By now, we all know the story of those two good friends.

Teammates in University of Visayas high school, Desiderio and Manzo have re-united as Fighting Maroons.

Up against the defending champion and Ben Mbala-led Green Archers, another Cebuano joined in on the fun. “Itong tatlo, lucky Cebuanos. They made the Cebuanos proud,” a beaming head coach Bo Perasol said after they pulled off a 98-87 upset.

Unexpectedly sent into the action as State U was protecting a slim margin early in the final frame, Janjan Jaboneta came through. “Si Janjan kasi, for the past practices, yung corner shot, lagi niyang nasu-shoot. Parang pinapakitaan niya ako na ready siya lagi,” Perasol shared.

Jaboneta’s practice paid off as his six points off corner triples helped UP march forward and onward.

For the former Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu standout, it was all about not letting his mentor down. “Pasalamat kay coach Bo para sa chance. Ako, quality minutes lang talaga so kinuha ko lang yung chance para ‘di masayang yung binigay ni coach Bo,” he said.

In the end, Perasol credited their biggest win in over a decade to his “lucky Cebuanos.” “Siyempre si Paul, tapos si Janjan, clutch shooting of Jun, added points by Paolo [Romero], shot block ni [Ibrahim] Ouattara, all of those contributed to the big win,” he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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