UAAP Finals: Ateneo flexed championship experience in Game 1 win, says Juan GDL

Philip Matel on Dec 01, 2018 08:11 PM
Ateneo flexed championship experience in G1 win, says Juan
Ateneo looked like the more poised team in the beginning and at the end of the game, riding on big runs to hold UP at bay.

University of the Philippines' star guard Juan Gomez de Liaño admits Ateneo's Finals experience was the ultimate difference in the Fighting Maroons' 88-79 loss in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals.

The Blue Eagles are in the championship series for the third straight year looking for a repeat, and that clearly showed even in the beginning of the game.

Ateneo looked like the more poised team in the beginning and at the end of the game, riding on big runs to hold UP at bay.

Moreover, they targeted their defense against Juan, who turned the ball over six times, and backcourt buddy Paul Desiderio, who was held to just five points.

"It was more of experience. They were just used to playing in the Finals. That’s their advantage," the younger Gomez de Liaño sibling said.

Gomez de Liaño also pointed out that the team had collapsed in the final stretch, when the Blue Eagles went on a 14-2 blitz to run away with the 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series.

However, Juan knows it was not an excuse since they had also prepared for this moment -- although a much shorter time compared to the defending champs.

"Next game, we should do a better job preparing to stop their players and just do a better job."

"I think, for our team, we should make and create a lot of better plays – not just for me, but for everyone."


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