King Maroon Desiderio is hands down Player of the Week
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 25, 2017 12:53 PM
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Paul Desiderio led UP to its biggest win in over a decade and now has the Player of the Week plum to show for all his troubles.
Following a career performance, all Paul Desiderio could say was, “Naglaro lang ako.”
University of the Philippines’ main man was never one for talking and just lets his game speak for him.
His statement was loud and clear last Saturday as he fired a career-best 30 points on top of six rebounds and five assists to lead the Fighting Maroons to a big-time win over De La Salle University.
Scoring the most points by a player from Diliman since 2003 all while proving that State U is serious in its contention, Desiderio was hands down the Chooks-to-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week from September 18 to 24.
Even after besting teammate Jun Manzo, Ben Mbala of DLSU, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo de Manila University, and Papi Sarr of Adamson University for the weekly citation, the 20-year-old was at a loss for words. “Wala akong masabi. Nagpapasalamat lang ako sa mga teammates ko kasi tulong-tulong kami para manalo,” he said.
Indeed, UP head coach Bo Perasol said Desiderio’s “excellent performance” was also made possible by the other guys. “His teammates are his unsung heroes. They pass the ball to him, they rebound for him, they set screens for him, they do the little things for him,” he shared.
Desiderio started the season slow, averaging 13 points on 26.3 percent shooting, but busted out with 28 points to shoot the Maroons over University of the East a week ago. “Medyo gigil pa ako first two games, pero ngayon, okay na. Nag-relax na ako,” he said.
Against the defending champions, the pride of Cebu was even hotter, swishing six of State U’s 16 total triples.
While Desiderio was never one for talking, opponents have no choice but to talk about him.
Last week, Red Warriors mentor Derrick Pumaren said, “I think Desiderio killed us.” Not long after, Green Archers coach Aldin Ayo said, “Ginawa na rin sa amin ni Desiderio ‘yun before so we prepared ourselves for that, pero our players did not respond.”
The Player of the Week will again lead UP as they try for three straight wins against Far Eastern University next Sunday.