Adamson head coach Kenneth Duremdes. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Adamson head coach Kenneth Duremdes gave the University of the Philippines (UP) full credit for their historic victory over the Soaring Falcons on Saturday -- a 77-64 win that ended the Fighting Maroons' 27-game winning streak that spanned two years.
"Obviously, UP wanted it more than us," Duremdes told reporters after a prolonged stay inside the Adamson dugout. "They played well, they shot well."
"Halos lamang pa kami (sa stats) – rebounds, assists," he noted. "But again, it will go down doon kung sino talaga ang gusto manalo, who wants it more, and tonight, this game, UP wants it more than us. That's all I can say."
The Falcons were only down by eight points after halftime but UP opened the third period with a 12-0 blast and eventually led by as much as 24 points. Adamson did whittle down the lead to only 10 in the final period, but their last charge proved to be too little, too late.
"Give credit to UP, they played hard, they fought hard," Duremdes said of the Maroons. "They wanted this game, more than anybody else."
In fact, Duremdes believes that with the way that UP played, even the defending UAAP champions would have had trouble keeping up with them.
"(Sa) nilaro ng UP, kahit La Salle kinalaban nila today, mahihirapan eh," said Duremdes. "They executed, they followed the game plan, they executed their plays. Very disciplined sila."
The discipline showed by the Fighting Maroons was a bit of a surprise for Duremdes, who said that while scouting UP, he observed that the team was not as disciplined as other UAAP squads.
"We know that this team, it's not as disciplined (a) team as Ateneo, La Salle and NU and FEU, so kami, parang, 'Wow, sana medyo magkaroon tayo ng chance dito, magkaroon tayo ng silat,'" related Duremdes. "It's because hindi ganito ka-disiplinado, hindi ganito ka-stable 'yung team."
"But today, they played perfectly," he admitted. "Perfect game plan. Their players responded to the challenge of the 27-game losing streak."
"Give it to them. They wanted it more."
The loss dropped to Adamson to 0-6 and solo eighth in the league as UP climbed to 1-6.