UAAP 82: Coach Bo urges UP to count its blessings after historic end to elims

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 04, 2019 04:39 PM
UAAP 82: Coach Bo urges UP to count its blessings
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

The University of the Philippines, thus far, still has no answer for Ateneo de Manila University.

Through two games in the elimination round, the Fighting Maroons have succumbed to the Blue Eagles by an average margin of 24 points.

For comparison, in its 14-0 sweep of the elims, the two-time defending champions' average margin of victory is 17 points.

State U head coach Bo Perasol reminded everybody, though, that outside those sorry losses to Ateneo, they actually find themselves in a good standing. "What I made them think is that pag tinanggal mo Ateneo, kami naman may magandang nagawa," he said.

Indeed, for the first time in school history, the maroon and green are armed with the second-seed as well as a twice-to-beat advantage.

That means that they need just one win to go back to the Finals - unlike last year when they were the third-seed and needed two wins to upend second-seed and twice-to-beat Adamson University.

"No. 1, this is better than our performance last year. No. 2, our position is a lot better than the previous years," Coach Bo said. "We need to count our blessings."

Before Perasol, UP only had 13 wins to show in 126 games.

Now, it has proven to be a legitimate contender - and yet, its always amiable mentor knows full well they have a tall task of continuing to live up to their billing. "I couldn't imagine myself if we lost against La Salle. That was such a blessing na nagawa namin yun so we have to honor this position, honor the work we have done by preparing really well for the next phase," he said, referring to their triumph over the Green Archers that wrapped up the two-seed.

He then continued, "To do that, we need to forget about (the second-seed and twice-to-beat) because it's going to be useless if we're not going to move forward."

With that, the Fighting Maroons are already hard at work for their matchup opposite Far Eastern University or University of Sto. Tomas on Sunday.

And though they have the playoff incentive, both the Tamaraws and the Growling Tigers actually post a problem as the latter swept them in the elims while the former split with them.

Nonetheless, by keeping at it, there's no reason why State U can't go to the championship round for the second straight season. "Whoever wins that playoff game is going to be a strong team. We never won against UST and we're 1-1 against FEU so it's going to be really tough for us," Coach Bo said.

He then continued, "We need to prepare hard for that so that we can get another goal of making it back to the Finals."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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