UAAP: La Salle loss shows UP still has more to work on, says coach

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2022 05:41 PM

The University of the Philippines (UP) and De La Salle University (DLSU) battle during the second round of the UAAP season 85 men's basketball in Pasay City on November 20, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
The University of the Philippines (UP) and De La Salle University (DLSU) battle during the second round of the UAAP season 85 men's basketball in Pasay City on November 20, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA, Philippines -- Their tough defeat to De La Salle University shows that the University of the Philippines (UP) still has plenty to work on even as they continue to have the best record in UAAP Season 85.

This, according to UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde who stressed the need for improvement after the Fighting Maroons absorbed an 82-80 loss to the Green Archers last Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The defeat was just UP's second of the men's basketball tournament, dropping them to 10-2. The result kept them from securing at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final 4. 

"'Yung consistency namin, we need to improve on it," Monteverde said. "We started well noong third quarter. Credit to La Salle, they bounced back after noong lead namin noong third."

The Fighting Maroons led by as much as 12 points in the third quarter, 49-37, but couldn't close out the Green Archers. UP's turnovers fueled La Salle's run in the final period, and the Green Archers took a late 10-point lead before the defending champions made a final push.

They ran out of time, however, as Kevin Quiambao's free throws with 11 seconds to go iced the win. Malick Diouf nailed a layup at the buzzer but it wasn't enough to reverse the result of the game. 

"It's positive naman that they never gave up," Monteverde said. "But we need to look at the things that we need to improve on. Going towards the latter part nung season, we need to learn as a team kumbaga to improve more."

The coach highlighted their 21 turnovers in the game, which led to 26 points for the Green Archers. He also noted that they gave up 48 points in the paint to the Taft crew. On the other end, they also struggled to execute and made just 38.4% of their shots. 

"We need to toughen up, especially sa interior defense," said Monteverde.

The Fighting Maroons will try to bounce back on Wednesday when they play the already-eliminated University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers. A win will assure them of at least a playoff for a semifinals bonus. 

"We've always approached the game with the same mindset, preparing to the best of our capability and having that same respect to all the teams," he said. "We're really gonna prepare for it."

 UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.

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