Coach Bo only grateful for UP's twice-to-beat advantage in UAAP 82
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 11, 2019 03:09 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
The University of the Philippines lives to fight another day in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament.
And it's all thanks to the work they put in to clinch a top two spot in the elimination round.
"Yun nga ang sinasabi ko sa kanila - we were blessed enough," head coach Bo Perasol said after the Fighting Maroons lost their twice-to-beat advantage against University of Sto. Tomas last Sunday. "We have to get back to the work we did in order to get to that position."
State U is very much alive and kicking after having clinched the second-seed and a twice-to-beat advantage at the end of elims.
And so, they live to fight another day - Wednesday at MOA Arena, in particular - even after being at the wrong end of a 20-point rout.
Without a doubt, they find themselves quite fortunate as in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, Lyceum of the Philippines University didn't have a twice-to-beat advantage even though it was the second-seed.
Just as Ateneo de Manila University swept the elims in the UAAP, so did San Beda University in the NCAA and that set in motion stepladder playoffs for both leagues.
In the NCAA, three-seed Colegio de San Juan de Letran topped four-seed San Sebastian College-Recoletos while in the UAAP, four-seed UST topped three-seed Far Eastern University to move on.
For the next phase of the stepladder, the Knights then bested the Pirates in a knockout bout to bag an NCAA Finals berth opposite San Beda
On the other hand, the UAAP Finals berth opposite Ateneo remains up for grabs even after UST bested UP.
That's because in the UAAP, the second-seeded squad has a twice-to-beat advantage for either the Final Four or stepladder playoffs while in the NCAA, the second-seeded squad only has a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four and will have to play without it in case of stepladder playoffs.
And so, the Fighting Maroons are nothing but grateful. As their always amiable mentor put it, "The silver lining is we put ourselves in the situation that we have another chance. That chance is going to be the last one for us and if we want to be given the chance to be in the Finals again, we really have to play better."
Still, Coach Bo knows full well it will be all for naught if their twice-to-beat advantage proves to be an disadvantage.
For that to be avoided, he is only challenging his wards to remember how they got here in the first place. "Ang titignan mo, yung panalo sa La Salle eh," he said, referring to their well-earned 71-68 win against De La Salle University that clinched for them the two-seed.
He then continued, "Yung pinaghirapan mong panalong yun, babalikan mo yun kasi nabigyan ka pa ng extra because of that work."
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