‘Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to’ now UP’s battle cry for Final Four

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 28, 2017 08:17 PM
‘Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to’ now UP’s battle cry for Final Four
MAROON MANTRA. Paul Desiderio, Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, Jun Manzo, and Ibrahim Ouattara are all set to make a playoff push.

In just the first game of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Paul Desiderio had a message for the University of the Philippines.

 

 

“Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to.”

This is what happened next.

 

 

Clearly, that message was meant for his teammates who needed to be rescued by their captain. Looking back at it now, he mused, “Pang-motivate na rin yun sa sarili ko yun nung sinabi ko yun. Tapos, at least, yung teammates ko, mabubuhayan din.”

He then continued, “Down na kasi yung team so tinry ko silang buhayin. Sinabi ko yun kasi ako yung last na maggi-give up.”

Still, that message could have also been for the Fighting Maroons’ faithful who have yet to cheer in the Final Four since 1997.

With five losses in its last six games heading into a matchup with fourth-running Far Eastern University on Saturday, the hopes for that happening was already flickering.

And then, Desiderio was given another chance to send a message to his teammates.

He didn’t have to anymore, however, as the Diliman community already did it for him.

 

 

The fans clad in maroon proved prophetic as their main man made good on another game-winning triple.

 

 

With that, UP is now tied for the fourth spot and still very much in the running in trying to end its playoff drought.

Asked if he realizes that his statement back in the first game in the season has now taken on a life of its own, Desiderio answered, “Oo. ‘Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to’ para na sa Final Four. Sana makuha namin. One game at a time lang. kaya yan.”

And so, though the Fighting Maroons only have an uninspiring 2-2 record in the second round of the tournament and still have assignments against fellow playoff hopefuls Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila University, and National University, they remain upbeat. “We’re looking forward na maabot namin yung goal namin na umabot ng Final Four. Itong season na ‘to, ilalaban namin,” head coach Bo Perasol said.

And that goes not only for the ongoing season, but also for the future. “Eventually, ang gusto naitn, matawid din natin ‘to sa susunod na generations ng mga players,” he expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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