UAAP: Finally, there's the Paul Desiderio UP has been looking for all season long
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 24, 2018 08:15 PM
About time the real Paul Desiderio showed up for UP
In just eight minutes on Wednesday, Paul Desiderio already bettered his averages through the first nine games.
Averaging just 11.9 points with a 20.4 percent mark from threes heading into the game up against Far Eastern University, the University of the Philippines’ team captain caught fire right from tip-off with 18 points built on 6-of-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc in the first eight minutes.
Behind Desiderio’s strong start, the Fighting Maroons scored a much-needed wire-to-wire win.
In the end, he had a career-high 31 points on 7-of-9 shooting from deep to go along with four assists, two rebounds, and two steals.
Turning in his best game just when his team is making a playoff push, the graduating swingman said that it was high time he returned the trust placed in him by head coach Bo Perasol as well as their fans.
“Unang-una, lagi kong iniisip na binigyan ako ni coach Bo ng chance na maglaro sa UP at lahat ng kumpyansa, binigay niya sa akin,” he told reporters post-game.
He then continued, “Naisip ko na kailangan ko nang mag-step up, gusto kong mabigyan si coach Bo at ang UP community ng magandang ending.”
Without a doubt, this is the Desiderio State U has been expecting all along.
And for Nigerian powerhouse Bright Akhuetie, it’s nothing but a welcome development that their skipper finally flexed his muscle.
“Today’s game just shows that Paul Desiderio is still Paul Desiderio. I’ve been waiting so long to see him become this guy and he showed up today,” he said.
However, Akhuetie also made it a point to say that this should be far from the end of it for Desiderio. “I’m really happy and excited, but I want to see consistency. It’s also part of my job to push him,” he said.
Indeed, the 21-year-old himself said his best game of the season should only be the start. “Mahirap. Every day, nagsu-shooting ako, nage-extra work, pero ganun talaga, matagal makuha. Hopefully, ngayon, nakuha ko na,” he said.
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