MANILA, Philippines -- With just one day between games, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons have no time to dwell on their defeat to De La Salle University in the Final 4.
This was the sentiment of UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde after the Fighting Maroons failed to complete a comeback and bowed to the Green Archers, 83-80, on Wednesday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Green Archers were playing with their backs against the wall, as a loss would have ended their campaign in UAAP Season 84. They displayed more urgency right from the start and led by as much as 22 points before the Fighting Maroons made a late run.
"Credit din sa La Salle kasi very prepared sila for this game. Yung energy rin is very high talaga," Monteverde acknowledged after the game.
"Siyempre, sa mga ganitong klaseng game, you have to want it more than our opponent. 'Di lang namin siguro na-match 'yung intensity," he said.
UP had won both of their elimination round encounters, and the Maroons were brimming with confidence and momentum after a historic triumph against defending champion Ateneo de Manila University last Sunday.
But they couldn't buy a basket against the Green Archers. They shot just 28.9% from the field for the game, with rookie ace Carl Tamayo -- one of their heroes against Ateneo -- going an anemic 2-of-14 from the field. Starting point guard Joel Cagulangan went 3-of-11, and Ricci Rivero needed 18 shots to reach 18 points.
Yet Monteverde was calm after the loss, and stressed that they are already looking ahead to Friday's do-or-die game against the Green Archers.
"Siguro ito naman di naman first time din nangyari sa amin. Kumbaga may mga games din kami before na 'di namin masyado nakuha 'yung rhythm na gusto namin. Minsan nangyayari yan," the coach said.
"Ang importante right now is just to know where to adjust," Monteverde added. "Sabi ko nga sa ganitong klaseng season, wala ka namang panahon para sumama pa loob mo. Isang araw lang 'yan."
"Dapat diyan, we need to bounce back, and be ready for Friday's game."
The winner of Friday's decider will advance to play the winner of the other Final 4 match-up between defending champion Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University.