UAAP: UP plays an 'Atin 'to' Bright Akhuetie remix to stun Adamson

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 24, 2018 08:42 PM
UP plays an 'Atin 'to' Bright Akhuetie remix to stun Adamson
Paul Desiderio had a hand in another big-time game-winner for UP

Just one basket proved to be the difference between the University of the Philippines and Adamson University in their Final Four matchup on Saturday.

This was that one basket from the TV screen:

And this was that one basket inside the MOA Arena:

That one basket not only sent the Fighting Maroons to a winner-take-all with the same Soaring Falcons, but also seized for them their first playoff win since 1997.

Less than a day before he made that one basket, however, State U actually practiced the play and saw Bright Akhuetie miss. “It was the same play that Juan made last night when Juan made an alley-oop to Bright, but Bright missed it,” head coach Bo Perasol told reporters post-game.

Yes, the Nigerian powerhouse made good on the game-winner during the game itself, but muffed on the try during training. “The funny thing is we practiced this and coach Bo was like, ‘Let’s do this. In case we need a three, this is what we do and if we need a two, the alley-oop we look for Bright,’” he shared.

He then continued, “I didn’t make it. I missed it in practice and we laughed about it. Thankfully, we made it today.”

For Paul Desiderio, though, there was no doubt UP was winning – especially with the massive sea of maroon inside the venue behind their backs. “Sabi ko nung naririnig ko sila, amin talaga ‘to kaya solid pick talaga binigay ko kay Papi Sarr kahit ang laki niya. Ang liit ko, 5-10 lang ako, nag-seal pa ako sa kanya,” he said.

He then continued, “Nakita ko nandun na si Bright, alam kong amin na talaga yun.”

Of course, if there’s one Fighting Maroon who knows a thing or two about game-winners, it’s Desiderio who will go down in history with his “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to!” game-winner up against University of Sto. Tomas a year ago.

The team captain didn’t get the game-winning shot this time around, but he still had a hand in it.

For his part, Juan Gomez de Liano, who had the assist on the play, could only agree with Desiderio. As he put it, “We’ve been practicing that play for a week and a half. What Bright did was just to seal the deal.”

And so, with another “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to!” moment, State U is one win away from the Finals.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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