Ever since high school, Dennison was the ‘Desiderio stopper’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 01, 2017 07:44 PM
Ever since high school, Dennison was the ‘Desiderio stopper’
LONG TIME. From high school to college and from CESAFI to UAAP, Ron Dennison has had the number of Paul Desiderio.

With a continued win run on their minds, Far Eastern University’s plan to be able to stop the University of the Philippines was crystal clear.

“Well, basically, ang game plan namin, ilang beses nasa board yung pangalan ni Desiderio,” head coach Olsen Racela told reporters, referring to King Maroon Paul Desiderio.

Good for the Tamaraws then that they have long had the right person for the job. As Racela put it, “Of course, malaking bagay pag meron kang Ron Dennison na ‘di mo na poproblemahin, iiwan mo na lang sa kanya.”

Without a doubt, the coaching staff had no problems whatsoever in just letting their graduating guard go at it at the defensive end with Desiderio.

And for the most part, Dennison was up to the task as he led his team to a 78-59 win.

Living up to his billing as a lockdown defender, he limited the King Maroon to only nine points in 33 percent shooting to go along with two turnovers.

For reference, heading into the game, Desiderio had been averaging 21 points including 3.5 triples, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.8 turnovers.

Of course, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that FEU’s longest-tenured player knows a thing or two about State U’s main man. “High school pa lang kasi, magkasama na kami kaya alam ko ang mga galaw niya. Pamilyar na talaga ako sa mga ginagawa niya,” he shared.

Dennison and Desiderio were teammates for one year in the University of the Visayas High School.

And even then, the hard-nosed guard said he had his junior’s number. “Sa practice, kami nagbabantayan talaga. (Dati pa), na-stop ko na siya,” he said.

He then continued, “Noon hanggang ngayon, alam ko galaw niya, alam ko tendency niya.”

Indeed, Dennison is the “Desiderio stopper” to the point that he doesn’t even need to watch film. Asked if he watched the latter’s career-best 30-point outing the last time around, the former answered to the laughs of everybody inside the press room, “Hindi. Hindi ko na pinanood para hindi ako ma-stress.”

Still, though he once again came out ahead in their head-to-head, the veteran Tamaraw said he is nothing but impressed at how far the King Maroon has come. “Ngayon, ang laki ng improvement niya kaya natuwa rin ako kasi na-challenge din ako sa kanya. Sabi ko, ‘Grabe ‘tong batang ‘to, ang laki nang in-improve mula high school,” he expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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