UAAP: Ateneo far from finished even after limiting Desiderio, Juan GDL

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 01, 2018 09:44 PM
Ateneo far from finished after limiting Desiderio, Juan GDL
Gian Mamuyac was just one of the many players Ateneo leaned on to lock down UP top guns Paul Desiderio and Juan GDL

Before the beginning of the Finals of the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament, assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga said that Ateneo de Manila University is locked in to try and slow down, or even stop, the top-ranked offense of the University of the Philippines.

“We have got to play well defensively against them. they are on a roll and we have to make sure we establish our defense against them,” he said a day before Game 1.

Come the Finals series opener on Saturday, the Blue Eagles did nothing but perfectly execute their game plan with Fighting Maroons’ team captain Paul Desiderio finishing with only five points on 33 percent shooting to go along with three turnovers and Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano scoring 17 points, but on 5-of-14 shooting while also committing six errors.

Post-game, Coach Sandy reiterated the importance of muzzling UP’s top guns. As he put it, “We wanted to make sure that these guys don’t get high percentage (looks). They are very, very good players and that’s one of our targets.”

One of those who did the work on that is two-way force Thirdy Ravena who had a hand in limiting both Desiderio and Juan GDL.

Asked about his defense afterward, he answered, “As a competitive person, nagte-take ako nang kahit anong role especially kung makakatulong sa team. With that, I was doing my job kahit ang hirap nilang bantayan.”

As they always do, however, Ateneo still saw much room for improvement even after a convincing victory. “We’re not happy with Jun Manzo getting 19 points off a good field goal percentage. We’re also not happy that we gave up 13 threes on 40 percent shooting,” coach Sandy said.

He then continued, “That’s what we want to look at and what we want to work on so we can come up with a good game plan again.”

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