‘MMK’ trends with Paul Desiderio bio, man who made UP Maroons believe again

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2019 02:21 AM | Updated as of Jan 20 2019 07:49 AM

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When Ronnie Alonte, portraying Paul Desiderio for "Maalaala Mo Kaya," said "sayang" after losing the UAAP finals, it exemplified the basketball player's quite astonishing story. 

The incredible transformation of a young, poor kid from Cebu into a Fighting Maroons legend who united his university and made a community believe it could achieve the impossible. 

His inspiring tale was featured on the drama anthology, and even Desiderio may have had some trouble believing how he managed to pull it off as he watched on Saturday night. 

The episode documented his humble beginnings in his hometown, how he persevered to get a basketball scholarship at a local school so that his parents wouldn't have to pay his tuition. 

An offer from University of the Philippines soon came up and he was thrust in Manila, a part of his life riddled by indecision. 

Homesickness and hopelessness over the basketball team's unflattering image as a perennial loser combined to make him question whether he was right to choose and play for UP. 

There were other better offers but after a reminder from his father that some of the best sports stories are never the easy ones, Desiderio decided he'd try and face the seemingly insurmountable. 

Paul Desiderio, played by Ronnie Alonte, talks to his dad about giving up on his dreams. He would go on to pick himself up and inspire the whole UP community. MMK

This led to him eventually uttering his famous "atin 'to!' cry, which the team used to rally itself into reaching the UAAP finals, a first for the Fighting Maroons in more than 30 years. 

The team lost the title series but Desiderio's winning spirit, his boldness, and his bravery remained with everyone. 

Desiderio, in an interview after, explained that he only said "atin to" to liven up his team then, who was so used to losing. Little did he know that he would go on to make the whole UP community believe again in winning. 

Below are just some of the most talked about reactions from his "Maalaala Mo Kaya" episode: