While they can no longer change the outcome of the finals, Bo Perasol, head coach of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, made sure that his players — most especially those graduating — knew they achieved something special.
His squad's early-season form didn't suggest that the Fighting Maroons would reach the final 4, let alone surpass that stage. But here he was, delivering an impassioned and inspiring speech after finishing runners-up to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
"I do not want you to look down. I want you to be proud. Because I want you to be proud for them," Perasol told his team, pointing out the groundswell of support his squad received for its spectacular run. "They are proud of you."
He added that his players needed to give themselves more credit, because "nobody" expected them to reach the finals.
"The game is done, the finals is done. You need to be proud of yourselves. We were in the finals. Nobody expected us to be here. You have achieved so much. You have sacrificed so much," Perasol said.
"That's why they're here. So don't look down. We will be better."
The UP Fighting Maroons have five graduating players, which included captain Paul Desiderio.
The others — Diego Dario, Jarrell Lim and Gelo Vito — all took to Twitter to show their appreciation following their final game as a Fighting Maroon.
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