UAAP 82: Coach Bo yet again proves there’s nowhere to go but up

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 28, 2019 01:39 PM
UAAP: Coach Bo yet again proves there’s nowhere to go but up
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

From the time Bo Perasol took over as head coach, the University of the Philippines has climbed and continued climbing up the standings of the UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament.

A 5-9 record in his first year became a 6-8 improvement in his second.

Then in 2018, the Fighting Maroons finally broke through into the Final Four, seizing the third-seed with an 8-6 standing and stopping a 21-year playoff absence.

Now, State U has yet again leveled up - clinching the second-seed and locking up its first-ever twice-to-beat advantage - and at 9-4, it still has one game left on its ledger.

Of course, coach Bo himself has to be happy that, indeed, there's nowhere to go but up for State U. "Personally, I'm happy. I'm proud, but I know deep inside me that it's not just me. Para sa programa talaga 'to," he said.

In the same light, though, the always amiable mentor reiterated that it's high time for UP to not just be glad to be fighting - rather, it should aspire to be winning. "I'm happy that we’re able to surpass our number of wins every year and I hope that we could continue this, but as I said, what's important right now is how to get into the Finals. Yung progression na gusto ko kasi, yung result," he said.

He then continued, "It's good na masasabi nating from five to six to eight wins then ngayon. Maganda yun, but ang bottom line is, ano bang ending?"

Perasol was referring to the fact that even though the Fighting Maroons have, without a doubt, come a long way, they still haven't won a championship in more than three decades.

At the same time, amid all the history they made, they still have two-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University standing in their way. "The nine wins is going to go for nothing if we're not going to the Finals again. Alam kong mahirap yun, pero yun na yung natural na goal e," their shot-caller shared.

Fortunately for the faithful over at Diliman, their team has all the confidence in the world that they can make something happen against the Blue Eagles - especially as all their well-earned wins through the tournament have taught them to fear nothing. "Ang nakikita ko na sa kanila, hindi na natataranta e. Sa dami ba naman ng (close games namin), siguro naman, hindi na talaga dapat matataranta," coach Bo said.

He then continued, "Sanay na kami sa pressure. That's the good thing with this."


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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