UAAP 82: Coach Bo: ‘It's not just UP who plays bad against Ateneo'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 30, 2019 08:43 PM
Coach Bo: ‘It's not just UP who plays bad against Ateneo'
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

The University of the Philippines has not won against Ateneo de Manila University in three years.

When the Fighting Maroons last downed the Blue Eagles back in October 2016, the former still had the likes of Jett Manuel and Gelo Vito.

That trend has only continued in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament as Ateneo swept the Battle of Katipunan - in the elimination round, at the very least.

Not only that, the Blue Eagles have dominated their neighbors by an average of 24 points.

It's important to note, however, that State U is not the first squad to get schooled by the two-time defending champions.

In fact, Ateneo has an average winning margin of 17.4 points throughout the elimination round - and only two teams have lost to it by single-digits.

That is the context by which UP head coach Bo Perasol wanted to explain their recent history with their Katipunan rivals. "It's not just UP who plays bad against Ateneo. Everybody plays bad against Ateneo, period," he said.

He then continued, "In the 14 games of Ateneo, I'd say 80 percent, they just outplayed everybody. If you want to beat them, you should not only be prepared, buy may kasama na ring swerte dapat."

For their part, the Fighting Maroons actually welcomed another reality check provided by their rout at the hands of the Blue Eagles. "We saw our immense weaknesses and again, it's important we have to feel the reality. Ateneo is a cut above the rest and we cannot compare ourselves with them as of right now," Coach Bo said.

The good news is that, while the blue and white has made school history, so has the Diliman-based squad. "As far as I'm concerned, I tried to erase the bitter loss to Ateneo right away because we need to focus on the positives that we had," their always amiable mentor said, talking about the second-seed and the twice-to-beat advantage they own which are both firsts in school history.

He then continued, "We cannot discount the fact that we are 9-5. I think we have done pretty well to be no. 2, but it's also important that we can't stay there."

And in that light, Coach Bo said they are now turning their attention to whoever wins out in the knockout bout between Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas. "We have to move forward. We need to anticipate what's ahead of us and prepare hard for that next game," he said.

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