UAAP: As winning streak hits 7, UP still searches for consistency

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2022 01:14 PM

UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde gives instructions to forward Zavier Lucero during their UAAP Season 84 second round game against the NU Bulldogs. UAAP Media.
UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde gives instructions to forward Zavier Lucero during their UAAP Season 84 second round game against the NU Bulldogs. UAAP Media.


MANILA, Philippines -- Even as the University of the Philippines (UP) extended its winning streak to seven games, head coach Goldwin Monteverde sought to keep their achievement in perspective.

The Fighting Maroons improved to 7-1 in UAAP Season 84 after a hard-earned 84-76 triumph against National University (NU) on Tuesday morning at the Mall of Asia Arena. UP led by double-digits in the third period, but needed some tough defensive stretches in the fourth quarter to finally put away the Bulldogs.

"We started strong noong first quarter. Siguro sa lahat ng game namin, dito kami nakapag-start ng madiin talaga. But, siguro 'yung third quarter, dumami na 'yung turnovers namin," lamented Monteverde.

"We have to be consistent," he stressed. "We need to see what areas to improve pa rin."

"Definitely, coming from this win, meron pa rin kaming male-learn. Kailangan namin makita, to move on."

UP's star forward Zavier Lucero, who had 16 points in the win, noted that the Fighting Maroons keep finding themselves in tight contests.

In the first round, UP eked out close wins against Adamson University (73-71) and De La Salle University (61-59), as well as Far Eastern University (83-76). Even their 80-70 triumph against NU in their first game was a gritty one, as they only pulled away late.

"We got out to a better start than we've been getting out to, thus far in the season. But yeah, we kinda let it go," said Lucero, the league's leading scorer. "Our mindset is to not be in a close game, but we keep finding ourselves there."

"So, I'm just hoping that as we continue, we can keep that good start and then keep a cushion, and not let them back in the game as the quarters go on," he added.

Lucero, an early contender for Most Valuable Player honors, nonetheless noted that what matters most is the final score.

"I mean, a win is a win," he said. "As long as we're still winning."

The Fighting Maroons have put together their longest winning streak in the UAAP's Final Four era, and are within striking distance of defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (7-0) at the top of the league standings.

They return to action next Tuesday, April 19, against FEU after the Holy Week.