UAAP: Rivero, Maroons glad for 'wake-up call' against Adamson

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2022 06:35 PM

UP's Ricci Rivero dunks the ball against La Salle's Michael Phillips in their UAAP Season 84 second round game. UAAP Media.
UP's Ricci Rivero dunks the ball against La Salle's Michael Phillips in their UAAP Season 84 second round game. UAAP Media.

MANILA - A shock loss to Adamson University may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the University of the Philippines, as they continue their campaign in the UAAP Season 84 men's basketball tournament.

This, according to the Fighting Maroons who felt that their 66-58 defeat to the Soaring Falcons last week was a wake-up call after they had racked up eight consecutive victories.

Unlike in their previous games, the Fighting Maroons couldn't recover from their slow start to Adamson, and had no answer down the stretch for veteran guard Jerom Lastimosa who took over in the clutch for the Falcons.

"For me, 'yung pinag-usapan naming players, mas kailangan namin magtiwala sa isa't isa," UP guard Ricci Rivero said of their response to the loss. "Kasi, sino lang ba naman 'yung kakapitan namin during the game, 'di ba? So kami lang ding teammates and the coaches."

"So if hindi namin masusunod 'yung system talaga, it's not really gonna work for us," he added. "It just so happened siguro na we have to fall sometimes in order for us to come back stronger, and to be better and to be more aware of what's happening."

UP rebounded well from the defeat, holding off the De La Salle Green Archers on Saturday night, 72-69. Starring in that victory was rookie big man Carl Tamayo, who had a new career-high of 23 points along with 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. 

They improved to 9-2 and secured a spot in the Final 4 for the third season in a row.

"Nag-learn kami," Tamayo said of their loss to the Falcons. "Malaki ang na-learn namin, wake-up call sa amin 'yun."

"Wake-up call lang siya sa amin eh, and maraming learnings na nakuha namin doon. Hindi lang siya basta talo. Marami kaming natutunan," he added.

Like Rivero, Tamayo stressed the importance of trusting each other as well as Coach Goldwin Monteverde's system. It's something that they worked on in practice the day after their loss to Adamson, the big man said.

"Kahit 'yung training pa lang kahapon, alam na namin na may tiwala kami sa teammates namin, sa isa't isa, tsaka sa system," he said. 

Monteverde, for his part, hailed his players for immediately showing that they learned from their second loss of the season. They had fallen behind early against the Falcons and were forced to play catch-up for most of the game. Against La Salle, it was UP that pulled away in the second frame, with Malick Diouf and Rivero conspiring in a 24-14 quarter.

"After ng talo namin, nag-usap kami kung anong dapat naming baguhin, what went wrong," Monteverde said. 

"Ang maganda lang dito, nag-translate sa game today. At least, moving forward mas nagagawa na namin ang mga gusto naming gawin ngayon," he added.

UP returns to action on Tuesday against the University of the East (0-11).


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