MANILA, Philippines—Sophomore guard Juan Gomez de Liano accepted responsibility for University of the Philippines’ poor showing against University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday, which saw the Fighting Maroons suffer an upset loss.
Coming off a morale-boosting 89-88 triumph over National University on Sunday, the Fighting Maroons were utterly outplayed by the upstart Tigers. UST ran out to an 8-0 lead, and led by as many as 30 points before settling for an 86-72 triumph.
“They just had a good game. It was their day today. They were making most of their shots, even their three-points. So that's just it,” said Gomez de Liano, who was quiet for much of the contest.
The athletic guard, last season’s top rookie, put up only 9 points on 4-of-10 shooting, 10 points below his average. He added 4 assists, but was also saddled with foul trouble for most of the game.
“Blame is on me, I wasn't able to lead the team much,” said Gomez de Liano. “I wasn't being aggressive, I'll be honest. I don't know why.”
The guard also acknowledged that he was “playing bad defense" for a lot of the game, which led to him getting into foul trouble.
On the other hand, UST’s defense on him was very aggressive, the UP guard said. He singled out Ken Zamora as the one who “kept on hitting me,” which prompted Gomez de Liano to complain to the referees.
“I didn't wanna hit them back kasi baka ma-thrown out pa ako. So I think they just played a good game,” he said.
The loss dropped UP to 3-4 at the end of the first round, but Gomez de Liano is choosing to draw some comfort from how they whittled down a 30-point lead to just 14 in the fourth quarter.
“We never gave up, despite them being up by like 20,” said the young guard. “We just kept going, but then we fell short.”
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